Winter is coming, even if at a slower pace. Slowly but surely autumn is fading away, and the first white show will cover your lawn. While winter is usually associated with hibernation and passive time for your garden and plants, they still need all the warmth and affection you can give.
Days will be shorter, temperatures drop below zero, and winter winds are unforgiving. With such harsh factors pitted against your fragile plants, it’s no wonder many gardens don’t survive the winter months. Luckily your garden is not left defenseless during such trying times, and you can do plenty to help out. The sooner you start, the better.
1. Adapt your watering schedule
During summer times is recommended you water your garden and lawn during the early hours of the morning or evening when the temperatures are lower so that you avoid the heat. During the winter months, you have to do the exact opposite. We suggest watering during noon and mid-day when temperatures are at their highest in winter.
A green and lush garden, that’s well-kept and groomed adds a lot to your house value and makes it easier to sell your home, should you wish to do so. When you apply care to your garden, the garden reacts in kind. Nighttime and early mornings are the coldest times during winter when anything is prone to freezing. Taking that time to relax in a warm home and venturing out when it’s a bit hotter, does the same for you and your plants. Apply the same logic for your garden as you do for yourself. When you are cold and freezing, so is your garden.
You can then skip your watering routine and wait for the weather to clear up a bit, and for the temperatures to rise above freezing. Don’t fret about missing a day or two. During winter, your garden needs to be watered three times per month, for optimal results. And surely, there will be three days when the temperature and conditions will be ideal for watering your garden.
2. Inspect the soil
When temperatures reach below zero, your ground starts to freeze or stiffen. Even if you do water, the moisture can hardly penetrate the outer shell and will remain on top, freezing, spilling over, and damaging your block paving or can even freeze underground pipes. You can break the surface layer with a small hoe or wait for the frost to melt. Some days will be warmer than the rest, and that’s the perfect time to loosen the soil around your plants a bit.
Watering three times a month during winter is enough to keep your plants alive and well. If you don’t or forget, then the plants will try to find nourishment by themselves or wither away. Roots can go deep and even mess with plumbing, causing heavy and expensive damage. Should you neglect or forget about your plants, they will most likely wither during winter and cause pricy landscaping costs next year.
3. Tools of the trade
Any problem is manageable when you have the right tools by your side. Each season brings with itself adequate challenges, and you need to adapt alongside your plants. For starters, your automatic sprinkler system needs to be turned off and stored away. Automatic sprinklers will only produce needless costs and cause damage with excessive soaking. Switching over to a retractable garden hose will let you control the water output and place. Your gardening area will shrink a bit during winter, and you only need to water smaller areas.
You will only need to water your garden for a shorter period. That way, the water will get absorbed quickly, and you minimize the risk of freezing. When you are done don’t forget to detach and store away your hose. If left attached to the faucet, the water inside will freeze and even cause damage to the hose. A small gardening hoe is also recommended, to break the surface ice and loosen up the soil a bit. Don’t forget to clean it up afterward, before you put it away.
4. Location, location, location
As in real estate, watering during the harsh winter months is all about where you sprinkle this vital substance. Let’s start with smaller and easier examples. Your shrubs, bushes, flowers and smaller plants can be soaked anywhere near the crown and downwards. Always feel the ground with your bare hands, so you know it’s dry.
Only then, apply minimal moisture, even to thirsty plants, and let the ground absorb it. That way, you are preventing root damage from excessive moisture and reducing the chance of water freezing, from excess watering. Moving onto larger plants, your trees can be watered in the area between their trunk and drip. Don’t water these larger plants directly, as ice can form on the bark and needlessly torment the plant.
Winter time is a natural part of any plant’s cycle, as winter is a regular period in Mother Nature. Your plants had centuries to adapt and can withstand most harsh conditions until springtime. What they do need is a bit of care and affection, so they can get thru hardship with ease. Humans need a little boost as well, from time to time, when faced with a bit harder time. Given love, both you and your garden can weather any storm or snow and bloom when spring dawns. Persevering and making the most of the time given will yield flourishing results. We wish you all the best.
When the weather outside is frightfully cold and snow and ice have replaced bugs and grass, many gardeners wonder if they should continue to water their plants. In many places, winter watering is a good idea, especially if you have young plants that are just establishing themselves in your garden. Watering plants in winter is a necessary chore for most gardens. If your location isn’t prone to heavy snow or is prone to drying winds, supplemental winter watering is vital. Although your plants are dormant, they’re not dead during dormancy and still have some basic metabolic functions that must be driven with water collected from the soil. Roots are prone to drying in the winter, causing permanent damage to perennials.