By Kathy Sullivan, Communications Director
You may have seen—or still see—snow on the ground, but don’t count on that snow to be enough to get your lawn through the winter.
Snowfall usually provides far less moisture than rain, so you’ll need to supplement with some winter watering.
Don’t just spritz the grass—water long enough so that the soil is thoroughly soaked without run-off. Be sure to water areas in high sun exposure which tend to suffer winter kill.
Water your sloped areas using cycle-and-soak: several shorter periods of watering to let the moisture soak in without running off. Dry winter conditions can also attract turf mites, but proper watering can deter them.
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.
Follow these guidelines from Colorado State University on when and how to water this winter:
- Water when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees with no snow cover.
- Water mid-day so that the water doesn’t freeze overnight and cause damage.
- Watering one or two times per month, depending on conditions, is usually sufficient. Water long enough so that the soil is thoroughly soaked without run-off. Use the cycle-and-soak method mentioned above for sloped areas.
If you aren't able to hand-water your landscape this winter, hire a landscape pro to do the work for you. It's a good investment in the long-term value of your property.
Keep watering even after the system is winterized. Don’t water when a hard freeze is expected to save damage to your plants.