Dry Winter Means Winter Watering is Needed Now
The unusually dry warm winter weather we've been experiencing in northern New Mexico means it's time to water now, especially plants that you planted 2016 or 2017.
It's not practical to use your drip system, as freezing weather will damage its parts. Instead, I recommend using a hose and sprinkler. I use and really like the Dramm Turret sprinkler, which has a rotating head to allow you to select a spray pattern to match the shape of the area to be watered.
I also recommend putting a shut off valve between the sprinkler and the end of the hose so that you can easily adjust the spray pattern without having to make numerous trips back to the faucet to adjust the flow rate.
The Dramm and shut off valves are available at local hardware stores if you don't already own them.
Run the sprinkler for 30 to 45 minutes per location and move it around your garden beds, shrubs and trees during these warm days we're experiencing. Be sure to disconnect the hose from the hose faucet when finished for the day and drain the hose thoroughly so you can use it again in another few weeks.
Repeat every 2 to 3 weeks or until we get some decent snow cover. Then resume in mid-February at 2 to 3 week intervals.
If you didn't get a chance to replenish the mulch around the base of this year's transplants, go ahead and get it done. This will help to keep the soil moist and the soil cold so plants don't wake up too early this coming spring.