If you have every visited with me and we have talked about watering lawns, or trees you know I have a philosophy of not wasting water and watering when plants need it — not when it’s Tuesday.
Well here we are in winter, no snow has fallen — or any moisture for that matter — for some time. As of this column I have not seen any predicted rainfall or precipitation in the near future. While we don’t often think about watering plants in the winter during dry spells it may be necessary.
Be sure to thoroughly soak the soil around established trees and shrubs before the ground freezes in the fall. And, in the case of a dry winter, water during a mid-winter thaw when the ground isn’t frozen and a few days of mild weather are predicted (especially evergreens). Evergreens like pine and cedar have much smaller root systems compared to deciduous trees like oak and maple.
Be sure to disconnect and drain the hose when done watering to prevent freeze and cracking of lines. This may mean dragging out garden hoses in the cold and this is an inconvenience to you. However, hydrated trees will survive winter better and come out of winter undamaged from dry winter conditions if they have periodic irrigation in a dry winter.
— Scott Eckert is a Kansas State Research and Extension Agent for Harvey County. Horticulture is his specialty. The Harvey County Extension Office can be contacted at 284-6930