Watering your lawn in the winter is as important as in any other season, but a little trickier. The importance of watering during the cold months can’t be overemphasized, if you want your turf and plants to be healthy come spring. The tricky part is that your watering schedule will depend on Mother Nature’s schedule. Read on for the best way to care for your lawn during the unpredictable northern Utah winters.
Why Winter Watering is Important
When the Salt Lake area temperatures drop, the air typically dries out as the humidity decreases. During these long stretches of cold, dry weather, significant damage can occur to the root system of grass and other plants. From late October through March or early April, soil expands and contracts frequently with temperature fluctuations, forming open cracks. These cracks can expose the root systems of plants, trees and even turf. Lawns with south or west exposure are particularly vulnerable, as are plants on the north side of your home. The more wind plants are subjected to, the greater the potential for damage.
When to Water Your Lawn During the Winter
Here’s where things get a little tricky. Your ability to water effectively depends on the weather. It’s never safe to water if the air temperature is below 40 degrees, and your window of opportunity can be very limited, so you must move quickly. Water during the middle of the day when it’s warmest outside, so the water is able to soak in. Any runoff is prone to freezing, which can cause additional damage. You only need water once or twice a month, but it is critical to seize the opportunity when it presents itself. If presented with the choice, choose a sunny day rather than one that’s overcast.
Watering Plants and Trees
The most vulnerable plants are your youngest ones, especially those in their first year of planting. Shrubs need approximately five gallons of water every two weeks for small to medium plants and up to 10 gallons for large, established plants. Trees require approximately 10 gallons for every inch of trunk diameter, but at least enough to penetrate 12 inches down across the drip line. Replenish mulch around the plants’ bases after watering, to help plants retain as much moisture as possible.
All Green Pest Control and Lawn Care, serving Provo and the surrounding areas, understands that even winter’s cold doesn’t let us off the hook for lawn care. Providing full service lawn and pest control service throughout northern Utah, let All Green Pest Control answer all your questions about winter lawn watering and caring for your trees and shrubs during cold weather.