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  • David Salman

How to Water in Winter


Northern NM has been experiencing dry weather this winter. Without supplemental winter irrigation over the next 4-5 months, gardeners and homeowners will see winter die-back of established plants and the loss of those recently planted this past growing season. Our trees and plants will greatly benefit from extra water and here’s how to do it.

  • Winter watering is very different from summer watering. It occurs less frequently and at a different time of day.

  • When there is no snow cover and during extended dry periods, water one to two times per month.

  • Only water when the temperature is above 45-50° F.

  • Water mid-day so it can soak easily into the ground.

  • Plants with western or southern exposure or that are regularly exposed to wind will dry out more quickly and should be watered more frequently (every two weeks instead of once a month).

  • When watering trees and shrubs, water around the drip line of the tree or shrub (where the waterfalls to the ground from the furthest tips of the branches). Use a soaker hose placed at the drip line and turned on for ½ hour per watering to thoroughly moisten the soil.

  • Evergreen trees and shrubs that keep their foliage throughout the winter greatly benefit from supplemental watering.

  • Groundcovers and, perennials can be watered with a sprinkler when watering an entire bed or patch of plants. Or perennials can be individually watered with a water breaker (see photo) or watering can.

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