This weekend marks the midpoint between three weeks of almost spring-like weather throughout much of Northern Nevada. This weekend could also be a critical time to water plants as warm temps and minimal precipitation has created dry soil conditions that can impact ongoing plant health.
Adding supplemental water during the winter keeps roots from drying out and that is one of the most important protective steps we can take in terms of winter plant care. And it’s not just about the winter. When we keep plants adequately watered during the dormant season, they enter the spring as healthier plants – ready to jump into their spring growth spurt. And that, in turn, makes plants better prepared for the hot days of summer.
In other words, winter watering pays off all year long.
About winter watering:
- Anytime daytime temps are above freezing and the soil is not frozen, plants can be watered.
- This weekend is prime time to check soil moisture around plants.
- If soil is dry to about a 3-inch depth, then supplemental water is needed.
- While daytime temps are still above freezing, assuming the soil in your area is not frozen, right now is a critical time to water trees, perennials and also turf.
Even though lawns appear dormant, they still need supplemental water – especially the areas with a lot of sun exposure. Pay special attention to slopes and south or west facing areas. These areas will dry out first and when they are dry, they will also be very susceptible to mite damage. Fortunately, the best cure for turf mites is a good drink of water. Use a garden hose with the sprinkler attached and apply sufficient moisture so that the water soaks deeply into the soil.
Water trees with a deep root watering device attached to the hose so that water gets deep into the soil where roots live. Place the device into the soil at about 18 inch intervals around the tree. Move around the tree in a circle that corresponds to the area on the ground where the branches end. Use the same device to water shrubs.
This weekend, when you’re checking and watering your plants, remember that plant life is a cycle throughout all the seasons. Everything we do to maintain our plants now will pay it forward to have healthier plants down the road.