Heavy and poorly drained landscaping can cause your lawn, shrubs, and plants to become waterlogged. Roots growing in waterlogged soil may die because they cannot absorb the oxygen needed to function normally, causing root damage. The dying roots decay and cannot supply the plants with nutrients and water. Furthermore, damage caused by over watering is frequently misdiagnosed as pest damage and plants stressed or injured by waterlogging can become abnormally susceptible to certain fungal pathogens.

Plants growing in soil that is too wet suffer from a lack of oxygen which leads to the death of roots and then your plant. Stunted slow growth with yellowing leaves is a symptom of over watering, too.  Damaged roots have little defense against the entrance of rot causing soil organisms. And so the plant dies of root rot.

How to prevent Root Rot

1. Deep watering this encourages roots to go deep down in the soil to where it is moist and a lot cooler. Water less frequently but for longer periods, so water reaches deep into soil. Consider installing drip irrigation.

2. Maintain your Irrigation System.  Make sure you don’t have leaking irrigation pipes or downspouts that are keeping the soil too wet in a location. Your service technician will search for this during turn on.

3. Add mulch. Add organic matter such as compost or rotted manure to plantings —organic matter can improve drainage in heavy clay soils.  Take care to keep mulch away from stems.

4. Drainage. Check your lawn for wet spots and repair them. RR Irrigaiton can help.

5. Consider native plants, which generally adapt better, have lower water demands and fewer pest problems.

6. Water only when necessary.   Even when it is really hot and sunny, plants recover. Make sure soil is not too wet, talk to your irrigation consultant if you have questions.

7. Prioritize. Young plants that have not had sufficient time to establish deep root systems will need more watering. Do not let the root balls of newly planted trees and shrubs dry out completely or become too saturated. When plants are fully established, they will require less water. Ask RR Irrigation about zones.