Commercial lawn care services like Landworks know that proper watering through fall and winter is critical to lush, healthy grass, trees, and shrubs in the spring. Although the grass and deciduous trees go dormant as the weather gets cooler, moisture must be maintained to prevent root loss and die back. Fall is prime time to make sure everything is well watered before the ground freezes.
Newly planted trees and shrubs especially are at risk of frost damage or death without winter watering, because their root systems are not well established. Commercial lawn care providers recommend periodically checking the soil between four to eight inches deep around your trees for moisture. Moisture meters are commonly available at garden centers and hardware stores, or you can dig a small hole with a trowel and feel for moisture starting an inch or so below the surface. If the soil feels dry, it needs watering.
A commercial lawn care rule of thumb is to water your turf, trees, and other plants twice per month over the winter months. Only water when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees and there is no snow or ice on the ground. Make sure that all leaves are cleaned up before watering so that all of the water reaches the soil. Water early in the day so that the plants are able to absorb the water before the temperature drops again at night. If there has been insufficient rain or snowfall, water thoroughly before a deep freeze whenever possible. Pay extra attention to evergreens, as they are particularly susceptible to winter draught.
Never turn on your sprinkler system once it has been winterized, as this can lead to frozen pipes and costly repairs. Instead, commercial lawn care services recommend using a soaker hose or a watering bag to water trees, or let the garden hose trickle slowly. This allows the water to dribble into the soil around the roots and be absorbed over time rather than running off the soil’s dry, hard surface. Alternatively, you can use a “cycle and soak” method. Turn the water on for a period, then turn off to allow it to soak into the soil, and repeat. This lessens waste-water due to run-off, which is especially important when the ground is frozen. Use a hose and portable sprinkler for grass and shrub beds, and be sure to fully drain your hose and bring it inside when you are done.
Landworks provides year round residential and commercial lawn care services throughout Johnson County, KS and the greater Kansas City area. For more information, call (913) 422-9300, or click here to request a quote.