Every Fall, I get asked the same question many times. “Should I water my plants and lawn during the Winter and if so, how much?”. Yes, you should water in the Winter. How much depends on how much natural moisture you get during the season. The following article by Woods Houghton of the Eddy County extension office explains it a little more.
At times during the winter, particularly for evergreens, drying out can be a real problem. Especially when we have mild warm winters such as we are having this year. Winter drought occurs when a tree loses more water than it can absorb from dry ground and is especially acute during the early spring when we have received very little winter moisture, the spring sun begins warming the rest of the tree. Windy conditions can also worsen the problem. Even dormant trees need moisture to promote root growth and health.
Winter water needs are often overlooked or forgotten about. Trees and shrubs and even dormant Bermuda grass benefit from a good normal watering once a month December to March when it starts to warm up. By laying down a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree in late fall before winter’s onset will help conserver water thru the winter and keeps the soil cool to help prevent winter injury. The mulch can help to slow moisture loss and runoff while acting as a temperature buffer for the roots. Signs of winter drought injury include early budding, tip die back and poor plant vigor.
For more information Contact your Local County Extension office. This and all programs are available to everyone regardless of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating â€œto put knowledge to workâ€.