A host of ornamental grasses can be used in Colorado landscapes. Landscapers use these beautiful perennial plants to create a functional, low-maintenance ornamental garden. Newly planted Colorado ornamental grasses require time to adjust to a planting site. Watering grasses during establishment allows roots to settle and expand in the garden bed. Sufficient water also keeps roots cool during the adjustment period.
Check the condition of the newly planted ornamental grass. Appropriate planting methods include amending soil in the planting bed with organic material and applying a mulch layer at least 2 inches thick on the garden surface. Both will help conserve water around the delicate roots of the transplanted grass.
Water the plant around the base of the stems at the garden surface level. Set the water flow to a light trickle for five minutes to allow water to settle into the soil layers. If you have a soaker hose, set it for 15 minutes for a thorough soaking of the garden bed. Avoid wetting the leaves of the Colorado ornamental grasses to limit disease problems.
Test the moisture levels in the soil around the ornamental grass. Use a trowel to dig down 6 to 8 inches into the soil. Soil should be moist and hold a ball shape when squeezed in the hand. It shouldn't be squishy or leak water when compressed tightly.
Monitor water conditions provided by rainfall by placing an empty, clean tuna can in the garden site. The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service states that ornamental grasses require about 1 inch of water each week from rain or homeowner-assisted watering techniques. Check the can after rain to monitor the rainfall amounts for the week.
Monitor the amount of water in the tuna can to determine how much water the fledgling ornamental grass requires to encourage establishment. Do not add more water to the plants if adequate rainfall occurs during the course of a week. Grasses can't tolerate the soggy roots that result from excess watering. As roots spread and establish, gradually back off on watering frequency to allow less consumption of water.