Question of the Week – Number One: December 10, 2020

Sprinklers make watering in winter an easy task, but be sure they have an override that will shut them down when freezing weather is forecast.

“What is the least often I can water my lawn and landscape during the winter? I want my plants to stay healthy, but I’m trying to conserve water.”

Great question. There are so many variables in figuring that answer that it’s almost impossible to know that I’m giving you useful suggestions. They would include soil type, temperature, wind, sun or shade, types and sizes of plants, rainfall and other precipitation and, if you’re using a sprinkler system, how much it delivers in a given period of time.

So, from that chaos, let me try to make something simple from it. I am especially careful to be sure that my plants are watered thoroughly if I hear a severe cold spell is rolling toward us. Dry plants suffer much more damage than properly watered plants.

Continued Below

Otherwise, if I haven’t had rain for two or three weeks, and especially if it’s been a bit warm and windy, I’ll run my sprinklers some evening when the wind has died down. However, I typically operate them at half or two-thirds the normal run time.

In between, if I see a bed of pansies that is dry, or a newly planted tree with dry soil, I’ll use the hose to spot-water. Then I’ll disconnect it from the faucet to prevent freeze damage when the next cold front blows in.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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