Winter Watering

Winter Watering

Posted by Jonathan Manning, CLT - B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University in Winter Watering

Winter Watering

By:Jonathan Manning, CLT
A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC
Denver, CO

The Denver area is considered to be a semi arid climate. Essentially this makes our front range community a desert. Infrequent rainfall and snowfall do not put much moisture in our soil. This is especially true with moisture from a snow event. Even with a 3 inch snowfall, we only receive around a quarter inch of precipitation. We almost never receive enough rain or snowfall to support the true need of the plants in our yards. This moisture needs to be supplemented.

The addition of water during the winter months is a critical addition to the health of all plants (pansies, perennials, shrubs and trees). These plants do not shut down over the winter as it appears. The lack of moisture can cause dehydration of the branches and stems. When this happens in trees, it cause either winter die back or weakens the cells in the branches. This is a process called “cavitation.” Essentially the cavities of the xylem, with which the plants pull up water, are destroyed and no water can pass through. This not only affects the physiology of the plant, but also the structural integrity. Winter Watering, done in the correct fashion, can help deter these effects.

Winter watering should only be performed when the air temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Watering should only be performed during daylight hours to reduce the possibility of creating ice. Use of a watering wand with shut-off on the handle is recommended. During the winter a garden should be watered as much as necessary and as the weather permits.

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23 Jan 2009 no comments

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