Winter water schedule relies on temperatures

Q: We moved into a new house this summer and planted a flowerbed around the front. The yard was planted in grass seed. Because of the dry conditions, we couldn’t keep up with the lawn watering and a large area of the yard was recently replanted with seed. I’d like to know when should I stop watering for the winter?

A: The answer is to not stop watering until the ground freezes. If this winter turns into another La Niña winter of warm and dry weather, you may even need to do more watering later during the winter. If your area doesn’t freeze at all, or for a very short time, you may need to keep watering all winter. In future years, you won’t have to do this.

Trees, shrubs and perennials will not have as large of a root system this year as they will in future years; therefore, they do not have as much area in the ground to draw water from. The grass seedlings will not develop less of a crown and may not have many roots, depending on when they were planted. They may not be able to store enough moisture to last the entire winter.

If there is a lot of snow cover, most plants will be fine. But long periods of time with no snow and strong wind may cause new plants and some lawn areas to dry out and die. Even though the grass, shrubs and other plants are dormant, and may not have leaves, roots, crowns, stems and trunks, they still need some moisture to survive. Evergreens are much more sensitive to drying out in the winter because their leaves are exposed to the cold, dry winds.

The best time of day to water is still in the early morning hours. The plants can dry off soon after the watering, as the sun comes up; they are less likely to develop fungal diseases. Water just enough to get the soil wet, about 6 inches to 8 inches deep. This will get to the majority of the roots in most grasses, shrubs and newly planted material. In the summer, an occasional deeper watering is good for some trees that have roots down to 18 inches.

Put out a can or a rain gauge to see how long it takes to get about a half-inch of water from your sprinkler. Dig a test hole and see how far that water went. In most soils, a half-inch of rain will soak the soil about 6 inches. Set your sprinkler to run for that long, no longer. More water will just be wasted. In cool weather, once or twice a week should be fine for almost any plants. Small grass plants in new lawn areas as well as shrub bed areas next to a building or on a south-facing slope, where the temperature stays warmer and the soil may dry out faster, may need to be watered more often.

Once the ground freezes you can quit. If the winter weather does not give enough moisture, it will be beneficial to do more watering. When the ground is frozen, the watering will do no good, unless you also want to ice skate on your lawn. Many areas of the country get a January thaw that gives us a week of above-freezing temperatures. That would be a good time to get a little water to the grass and evergreens; however, most other plants won’t need the watering. If your area doesn’t freeze or even become very cold, you will have to keep watering through the winter to help the plants grow a full root system.

Do not leave water in the hose and let it freeze, or you will have a hard time rolling it up. You might also damage the hose spigot and get a leak in the house.

Your perennials and any that are planted in the fall need a 3-inch layer of mulch covering the roots and dormant crown. Shrubs and trees need to have the root area covered in mulch. This helps to even out the freezing and thawing cycles. Since the soil of the planting and the original soil are often different in texture and water content, they will freeze at a different rate. This can lead to the plant being pushed up out of the ground, where it will dry out and die. After the plant has established roots into the surrounding soil, the frost action will not happen anymore.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like