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Watering in the Winter

This time of year a lot of people want to run inside and hibernate until the tulips and daffodils start flowering in the spring; and I can’t blame them. The sun comes up late and goes down early, the temperatures drop below freezing, and those Kansas winds seem to have more bite than bark. However, our plants outside need some of our attention, even during the winter months.

Not a lot of thought goes towards the plants sitting just outside our windows during the winter but they can be just as thirsty, if not more, during the winter as in the summer. The winter months of December, January, and February average a paltry 2.83 inches of precipitation total. Compare that to the average 2.69 inches in October and the 2.49 inches in March and you can see the discrepancy.

To help your plants survive during the winter months give them a periodic drink of water. Newly established plants will need more watering than established plants and bigger plants will need more than smaller plants. A thorough watering to a depth of 6 to 8 inches at least once a month should be sufficient but do keep in mind the current environmental conditions. Timing of the watering is also important. Water the plants when the temperatures are above freezing and the soil isn’t frozen. Once the water is soaked into the soil, freezing temperatures won’t harm the plants.

Check out the links below for more information:
Winter Watering Tips – Johnson County K-State Extension Office
http://www.johnson.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=588

Fall and Winter Watering – Colorado State University Extension
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07211.html

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