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Watering Your Plants In Winter: Tips

By Padmapreetham Mahalingam

The one aspect about winters is that, it brings with it dry conditions. However, plants usually try to stock up the essential nutrients and sugar in their roots during fall in order to survive and sustain during the winter months. Hence they may not need the essential attention in cold winters unlike summers but it's always important not to abandon watering them over the wintry season.

Everybody who owns a garden would be visibly complaining and cursing about the dry conditions, since winter attacks the foundation of plants and shrubs. During the winter months, freezing and thawing conditions usually shrivel up the hibernating roots. So make sure to support the plants through winter by giving them sufficient water until the ground is deeply moist. Extra precautions need to be taken for plants to survive the cold in winter months. Perennials, trees and shrubs can get damaged and dehydrated under the cold weather conditions if they don't receive supplemental water. It is often necessary for plants to get extra care and attention during fall if they have to survive in winter and begin spring in perfect peak condition. Watering plants in winter is advisable if you don't want to risk the winter drought.

Here are some of the winter gardening tips for protecting and taking care of your plants and trees.

Incorrect watering
Watering plants in winter needs to be carefully scrutinised. If your plants are not blossoming or your leaves are going limp, it means you're following incorrect watering techniques. There is no golden rule for watering plants. Water quantities should be individually implemented according to your plants' needs. Certain plants will suffer if they are be put in puddles, while some prefer a lot of water to blossom and grow well.

Water your plant in fall
Before you water plants in winter, make sure to supply your garden with sufficient water in fall. However more water is required for new saplings and shrubs. Always give your garden deep watering for at least two to three weeks before winter.

Frequent watering
The most important winter gardening tip is that plants with large or thin leaves require regular watering. Even those with surface roots also need frequent watering. Not all plants demand the same amount of moisture, few plants tend to dry out between watering while others need to be kept moist regularly.

Soak the soil
It's a rule of thumb to water your plants in winter at least for a depth of 6 to 8 inches. This general procedure has to be followed for lawns, a few trees and shrubs. This depth of soaking provides moisture to the majority of roots and crowns. Make sure to water trees, shrubs and lawns and guard their foundation by using sprinklers and soaking hoses. Allow the water to be absorbed by the soil.

Water for three weeks
The amount of watering depends on the type of plants and soil. However watering every two or three weeks is sufficient. If you want to test how deep the water goes, probe the soil using a screw driver, spade, knitting needle or a metal rod. If the tool comes out moist, measure how many inches it takes water to reach the depth. If the soil is still dry, pour water again.

Water hose
While watering plants in winter, use a water hose to run a stream of water at the bottom of trees and shrubs for almost 30 minutes. This thin stream of water can help moisten the soil.

Follow these tips for watering your plants in winter to save it from dehydration.

Story first published: Thursday, December 5, 2013, 8:03 [IST]
Read more about: gardening
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