Winter Watering Tips (WFAA Channel 8)

How has your yard handled the recent cold snap? Proper watering, as well other simple methods for plant choice and protection can help your winter landscaping survive when the temperatures tumble. Check out these tips from Patrick Dickinson from Texas A&M AgriLife’s Water University and Denise Hickey with NTMWD on last week’s segment on WFAA Channel 8.

Water at the right time.

Even though it’s winter and your plants might look dead, you don’t want your plant to dry out. The roots are still alive under the soil and need water for hydration but also for insulation. You’ll want to:

  • Water only when temps rise above 45 degrees or above before a freeze.
  • Be sure your irrigation control or timer is turned off when a freeze is expected.
  • Irrigate earlier in the day when plants are more likely to absorb water.
  • Water when there hasn’t been a recent rain, snow or sleet.

Water in the right place.

Plant roots still need water, but avoid moisture on plant leaves and stems.  

Water the right amount.  

Don’t over-water! Once or twice a month during winter is usually sufficient for most plants. When you do go out to water, remember the following:

  • Add only enough water to make the soil moist, especially when temperatures are expected to dip below freezing.
  • Use a moisture meter to help you decide if you need to water at all.
  • Pay special attention to newly planted or frost sensitive plants.

Layer on the mulch.

As winter sets in, spreading a thick, four-inch layer of mulch can really help protect your landscape. It helps hold in warmth as well as the water to make sure your roots survive till spring.

Choose the proper plant palate.

When Spring does come again, fill your lawn/garden with native or adapted plants. These are naturally more cold-resistant and will keep your garden looking lively.

For more up-to-date tips on when to water, be sure to visit WaterMyYard to learn when to water and when to wait. You can also find additional suggestions on how to pick plants for minimal maintenance and year-round curb appeal at Water University.