Normally, we send out watering tips in the dry heat of summer. If you are like me, you might be thinking of putting away your garden hose for the season, but don’t touch that hose!
Your gardening chores aren’t quite over yet, and watering in preparation for winter is just about your most important fall gardening chore.
Many of you have gotten new plants installed this fall, and even for those more established plants, shrubs and trees, you’ll need to water so that your plants are prepared for winter. Make sure you give a little extra attention to your plants that were installed this year as well as last year.
Our goal is to prevent plants from stressing out during the winter. Here are some simple watering tips:
- Water regularly throughout the fall and keep watering your trees and shrubs until the first hard frost of the season. Continue watering right up until the ground begins to freeze, which is usually around Thanksgiving.
- Water deeply. Remember that watering deeply at wider intervals is better than frequent, lighter watering. Water deeply and thoroughly (that goes for any time of year when you water). One option is to place your garden hose at the base of each plant and let it trickle for 15 minutes. For large trees, water around the entire drip line to deliver moisture to all the roots.
- Hydrate through the winter. Keeping your plants hydrated through the winter is important when it comes to keeping your trees and shrubs healthy and getting them ready for seasons to come. To keep the soil moist throughout the winter, it can be helpful to make sure there is plenty of snow evenly spread around the roots of your plants.
Now you have a good excuse to dally around your garden just a little longer this year. Breathe in that fresh, crisp air and feel good about knowing that you are helping your plants survive and thrive through another winter (here’s hoping for no polar vortexes!).
What to do when temperatures dip below freezing: When temperatures dip below 20 degrees, we recommend you disconnect your garden hoses until the temperatures rise. And, if you haven’t winterized your irrigation system, at least turn the water supply to that system off until the temperatures creep up again.