Winter watering: keep those hoses ready

When Colorado weather is especially dry in the fall and early winter, watering season may not end just because your sprinklers are turned off. This year has seen relatively little moisture throughout the fall, and despite some snow in mid-November, the ground remains fairly dry.

Tips for fall and winter watering

As part of the Planttalk Colorado program offered through Colorado State University Extension, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Green Industries of Colorado, tips for fall and winter watering can be found online and through a short YouTube video. CSU Extension also offers a fact sheet on fall and winter watering.

Mike Landers, a certified arborist for Tagawa Gardens in Centennial, Colo., says that winter watering is “hand watering your trees throughout your landscapes starting around mid-October and could stretch into March, depending on how much moisture we get.”

Ensure optimal watering

Although most people have turned in-ground sprinkler systems off by this time, there are a number of tools that can be used to ensure optimal watering. One option is a frog type sprinkler which sits above ground and can be moved to different areas around and under trees to make sure that enough water gets to the roots, which are alive even during the winter. Deep root fork and needles are also options – these devices are inserted into the ground and inject water below the surface, getting closer to tree roots. Experts suggest watering about once a month during the fall and winter.

“Winter watering is especially critical for newly planted evergreen and deciduous woody plants, which are the most susceptible to winter drought injury,” said James Klett, a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture  and Extension landscape horticulturist. “You should water only when air and soil temperature are above 40 degrees with no snow cover.”

About Planttalk

Winter watering is just one of the more than 600 horticultural topics explained by the Planttalk Colorado program. Planttalk provides reliable information on a number of topics – from annual and perennials to vegetables and houseplants to insects and diseases. Much of the information comes in the form of research-based fact sheets, which provide gardeners with the basic details plus, in many instances, additional links for related information. Planttalk also has dedicated YouTube channel with instructional and demonstration videos and can be found on Pinterest.

For more information visit the website.