Watering in Winter – help your plants survive!

In short, the answer is ‘yes’ you DO have to water in winter.

One of the things that we tend to forget once the temps get very cold is winter watering. Your newer trees and shrubs are still in the establishing phase with their root system. What this means is that the root ball that has been growing in a container shape will take a couple of years to stretch out in order to find all those little hidden pockets of water source in the soil.

While the roots grow into the depth of the soil, they will need some help from us humans to make sure the plant gets enough water to survive and thrive – even through the winter.

But it snowed last week, isn’t that enough water?

Not really.  Rootballs need enough water to saturate them entirely which means they need quite a few inches of water – at least once per month in the winter months.

How much snow does it take to make an inch of water?

This varies depending on the type of snow, but to make 1 inch of water you need

  • 10 inches of average snow
  • 4 to 5 inches of wet snow
  • 15 inches of powdery snow

Unless we are hit with a few feet of snowfall regularly throughout the winter, you will still need to supplement.

The easiest way to make sure your plant is getting enough water – take a bucket of ice and dump it around the base of the tree or shrub.  This is an easy way to make sure that the volume of water required will be enough (as the ice melts slowly, it will saturate the soil directly where it is needed).

If we have consistently warm days without any precipitation, it might even be worth getting the hose out and giving them a good deep soaking once or twice.  But, do remember to detach the hose before it freezes again.

So – winter watering.

1- Important.
2 – Easy to do with ice.
3- Help your plants not just survive, but thrive!

And, as always, if you have any questions we are here to help.

See you soon!

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