The goal of the soil moisture test is to adjust the number of gallons that are being applied so that the soil has the texture of Play-Doh (soft, moist, pliable and cool to the touch) every 48 hours and this rule should be followed all year long. For example, if the tree was watered today and the watering was completed by 1 PM then we would want to have a Play-Doh like texture in 48 hours starting from 1 PM today. If we obtain the correct soil moisture then we know that the correct number of gallons are being applied each watering. As we experience changes in the temperature throughout the year then gallons may need to be increased or decreased to maintain a Play-Doh like texture every 48 hours.
Make sure that we do not confuse the timing of the soil moisture tests with the watering frequencies as these two things are completely different. We always want to have a Play-Doh like texture to the soil 48 hours after the trees are watered and the frequency of the waterings will vary based upon the time of the year:
1 x Per Week - January, February, March, November & December
Let’s assume that it is February and we just watered the trees today, 2 days from today we should have a Play-Doh soil moisture and 7 days from today we should apply water again.
2 x Per Week – April & October
Let’s assume that it is April and we just watered the trees today, 2 days from today we should have a Play-Doh soil moisture and 3 days from today we should apply water again.
Every other Day – May, June, July, August & September
Let’s assume that it is June and we just watered the trees today, 2 days from today we should have a Play-Doh like texture and at that same time the tree can be watered again.