Winter watering is crucial to prevent your lawn and landscape plants from being winterkilled. Here are the guidelines to get you started.
When should you winter water?
Any time you are watering when your sprinkler system is turned off, we called that “winter watering.” That period is from November through mid-April for most homeowners. During that period, try to winter 1-2 times per month. Choose a day when the air temperature is above 40 degrees and the soil is not frozen. Try to water at mid-day so you don’t freeze and the water has time to soak in the ground before it freezes at night.
What should you be winter watering?
My first priority for winter watering is anything that was planted during the previous growing season. If it hasn’t made it through a winter yet, I make sure I winter watering it regularly. That could be a lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers, ornamental grasses or groundcovers. Make sure you water these first if your time is limited.
My second priority for winter watering is any existing lawn or trees, especially if they are in a sunny area or an area that is really exposed to the wind.
Once I’ve watered the newly-planted plants, plus any existing lawn and trees, I try to make sure I water any remaining shrubs, ornamental grasses, flowers, and groundcovers. These will also benefit, but they’re not quite as critical.
There are a few categories of plants that you really shouldn’t winter water, these include cacti, succulents, and alternative lawns with blue grama grass and buffalograss. They can’t utilize the water because they are very dormant. Plus, they are native plants that are adapted to drying out during the winter.
Give winter watering a try, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, resilient landscape in spring.