Next spring will you experience the disappointment of lawn winter kill and dead plants and trees?
Many homeowners think snow provides the enough water. Unfortunately, the average snowfall is 12 to 15 inches equaling 1 inch of moisture. This not enough for lawns, plants and trees. Low humidity and low water damage plant root systems or worse kill plants through dehydration.
Many times the results do not show up until late spring or early summer. Plants with damaged root systems resume growth in spring and seem to be healthy but later weaken or die because the new growth is greater than can be sustained by the weakened root system.
Which plants are at risk? (Hint: Those with shallow root systems)
- Lawns – particularly south and west exposures
- Shrubs with shallow root systems
- Evergreens and junipers, especially those near the house
- Trees – European white birch, Norway and silver maples, basswood, Colorado spruce are at risk.
Although plants are dormant and brown, they should be watered periodically. Proper winter watering will give your lawn, shrubs, and trees a much better chance of greening up beautifully in spring.
Winter Watering Tips:
(Hint: You’ll have to break our your hose since sprinklers are shut off)
When to water
- Once or twice per month from November to April
- Especially in March and April as new roots begin growing
- Only on warm days above 40 degrees F when the soil is not frozen
- Water at mid-day so it can soak in before it freezes
What to water
- Newly planted lawns, flowers, shrubs and trees
- Established areas
- Especially in sunny, windy, or south/west areas due to high evaporation
- Established ornamental grasses, groundcovers,flowers, shrubs, and trees
- Do not water buffalo grass, blue grama, cacti, succulents, or very xeric plants.
How to water
- Use a hose with a sprinkler or watering wand
- Water slowly to allow the water to soak in
- Water ½ to 1” deep. You can measure the amount by putting cups out to catch water.
- Don’t forget to remove, drain, and store the hose in the garage
This is where an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Follow these winter watering best practices and your lawn will have a much better chance of surviving winter kill and come back healthy next spring.