When spring is here once again, you’ll likely want to see your yard in full bloom. Unfortunately, patches of grass can die off during the cold months if they don’t receive winter lawn watering. Plants need water year round, even once they grow dormant. Homeowners in Burlington County, NJ should consider these tips while planning their sprinkler schedule for winter.
Avoid freezing temperatures
Despite the importance of winter lawn watering, weather conditions have to be just right in order for the roots to properly absorb moisture. Wait until the temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit so the ground doesn’t freeze over.
You should also consider the best time of day to water plants in the winter. Trees, shrubs and grass absorb the most water during midday, while the sun is at its peak altitude. Since temperatures drop at night, watering too close to sundown poses the risk of water freezing before it can reach the root systems.
You can skip watering if there’s a layer of snow on the lawn. This indicates the temperature outside is below freezing, and the roots aren’t capable of receiving water from sprinkler systems. Homeowners in Burlington County, NJ are likely to experience quite a bit of snow and should wait until it melts.
Water plants with the right tools
Sprinkler schedules for winter are different than in the warmer months. In fact, irrigation specialists recommend powering down your sprinklers during the cold seasons to avoid frozen pipes and costly damage. Winter lawn watering requires the proper tools so frigid temperatures don’t leave you with broken sprinklers come spring.
Garden hoses and soft spray wands are the most effective on shrubs and grass. Remember to disconnect the hose after watering because the pipes could freeze while not in use. A root irrigator works best on trees because it can reach deep underground. If you water trees with a root irrigator, be sure to evenly distribute water around the tree and allow it to slowly soak into the root system.
Bigger plants need more water
While creating your sprinkler schedule for winter, think about the age of your shrubs and trees to determine how frequently they need water. Larger and older plants require more water than those you’ve recently added to your landscaping. You can approximate a tree’s age by measuring the trunk’s diameter. As a general rule of thumb, a tree should get 10 gallons of water for every inch.
There’s not a simple formula to help calculate the watering needs of shrubs. However, they follow the same general principle as trees—the bigger they are, the more you have to water them. For instance, a shrub less than three feet tall only needs five gallons of water per month. One that’s over six feet requires at least 18 gallons.
Winter watering is a new concept for many homeowners and must be done the right way in order to preserve your landscape. If you need assistance, call the irrigation specialists at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc. We’re the experts in Burlington County, NJ who keep yards looking pristine, no matter the time of year.