Dry Garden? Time to Water

winter-watering-blog2All Western landscapes benefit from winter watering.

If your landscape and garden are as dry as mine, it’s definitely time to water. Even if it seems too early to pull out the hose, trees, shrubs and lawns need winter watering. The general rule for winter watering is to apply water twice a month from October through March, especially if there has been no measurable precipitation and the temperature is above 40 degrees.

The temperature today is well above 40 degrees here in Denver and other parts of the West. In fact, we’re coming off our driest February on record. Even if you’re trying to conserve water in the landscape, it’s important to give plants a drink to prevent permanent damage.

To make the most of your water budget, you can prioritize your watering zones.

Trees are the most valuable part of the landscape and should be given first priority. This is especially true for young trees that were planted in the last year. Allow water to soak into soil slowly and deeply–to about 12 inches. Apply water in different locations under the dripline (the outer-most branches of the tree). Measure the diameter of the tree and apply about 10 gallons of water for each inch in diameter.

Shrubs are next on the priority list. Shrubs should get about 5 gallons each watering.

Perennial flowers are third on the list. Give perennials just enough water to soak, but not flood the area.

Lawn is last on the watering list. Most lawns in our area are planted with Kentucky bluegrass, which is a lot hardier than you might think and can remain dormant for quite some time. Besides, it’s a lot less expensive to replace turf than it is to replace a mature tree or flowering shrub.

What tips do you have for keeping your landscape watered in the winter?


 

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