Water In WinterIt's important to water your trees, lawns & plants in the Winter. Why? Read more to find out the facts!

Dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture, and fluctuating temperatures are characteristics of fall and winter in many areas of New Mexico. Often there is little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture during the winter months. Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns may be damaged if they do not receive enough water.

If you do not water during the winter months, you may have death to parts of plant root systems. Some plants will resume perfectly normal as they use stored food energy, but some make be weakened in spring when temperatures rise. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems. Lawns also are prone to winter damage especially newly established lawns. It is possible that lawns in warm exposures are prone to late winter mite damage.

Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.

Newly planted trees are most susceptible to winter drought injury. Trees generally take one year to establish for each inch of trunk diameter. For example, a two inch diameter (caliper) tree takes a minimum of two years to establish under normal conditions.

Trees obtain water best when allowed to soak into the soil slowly to a depth of 12 inches no matter if you are using sprinklers, deep-root fork or needle, soaker hose or soft spray wand.

Newly planted shrubs require more water than established shrubs that have been planted for at least one year. The following recommendations assume shrubs are mulched to retain moisture. In dry winters, all shrubs benefit from winter watering from October through March. Apply 5 gallons two times per month for a newly planted shrub. Small established shrubs (less than 3 feet tall) should receive 5 gallons monthly. Large established shrubs (more than 6 feet) require 18 gallons on a monthly basis. Decrease amounts to account for precipitation. Water within the dripline of the shrub and around the base.

Perennials transplanted late in the fall will not establish as quickly as those planted in spring. Winter watering is advisable with late planted perennials, bare root plants, and perennials located in windy or southwest exposures.

What else do you do to maintain your yard in winter?

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