Winter Watering: Why it's important
by Dennis Patton, horticulture agent
You may not think it, but plants continue to use water during the winter, although just not as much. The freezing and thaw cycles also remove moisture from the soil. Also, don't forget about the effects of drying winds that pull moisture from the soil.
Bottom line, soils are often on the dry side in winter. Plants that are well hydrated will survive winter conditions and be stronger and more established come spring and throughout the rest of summer.
Follow these simple watering tips in the winter
- Winter watering tips are pretty simple. You are free to water any time during the winter as long as the soil is not frozen and temperatures are above freezing when applying. It does not matter if the temps fall below freezing after the application as frozen water in the soil will not harm the plants.
- Plants most at risk are those planted within the last year or so. Evergreens also suffer the effects as they tend to lose more moisture during winter.
The good news about winter watering is that the plants do not lose moisture as rapidly in winter compared to summer. A deep thorough soaking should last for a month of more depending on the moisture patterns.
- Don’t forget your lawn. Lawns have shallow roots and can feel the effects. A lawn that is well-hydrated over winter will also start to green up earlier in the spring.
- Remember to disconnect the hose from the outside faucet and drain.