*(J.E. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned. Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating.CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. Lawns also are prone to winter damage. The soil temperature when many warm weather grass types stop growing is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as the temps begin to drop, you certainly notice. Image Credit: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images. This way, it's unlikely that you'll shock the plant or damage its roots. the grass and soil. Keep reading to discover all the specifics. Trees obtain water best when it is allowed to soak into the soil slowly to a depth of 12 inches. The rule that I have found reading several articles on this topic and having looked at this topic of when to stop watering in a past article is looking at the soil temperature map. When the ground is frozen, the water won’t make it down to the root zone because the hard, frozen soil acts as a barrier. Learn more about us or about our partners. The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely on south or west exposures. To see how long it will take to soak the soil, check it every 15 minutes during your first watering by using a screwdriver to test how ... Do the Math. Here are some lawn care tips for the fall: Watering – When you are caring for autumn lawns, watch your irrigation. Over the course of the fall, you should continue to water your Bermuda grass less frequently. On the other hand, watering too infrequently can cause the roots to dry out and the lawn to yellow. For best results, water your lawn thoroughly three times a week if we do not get significant rainfall. If it drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, lawns usually require less water. Employment | Proper Ground Temperature for cool-season grasses (such as Fescue) Avoid mowing the lawn during drought stress. Simply let water sit until it is the same temperature as the room. Remember that, in all of this, you must consider ground temperature. We know we need to water grass during those blazing summer months. The longer a cold spell endures, the more time the ground has to freeze. Lawns under such stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged even more. Morning, around 6 to 8 a.m., is the best time to water. To check the output of your sprinklers you can place several tuna or cat food cans … The key is to water just a couple of times a week to help keep your lawn moisturized and healthy. Water helps protect the lawn, but knowing the right time and amount of water is key to keeping it alive so it stays lush and green when warmer weather arrives. If you live in a more humid climate that gets sun year around then simply curb your watering to once or twice a week for 20 minutes a zone. Lawns under such stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged even more. Winter watering is advisable with late planted perennials, bare root plants, and perennials located in windy or southwest exposures. and last updated 2020-10-10 13:40:42-04. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems. Mother Nature usually provides enough water through rainfall for grass to grow strong. Klett, Colorado State University Extension horticulture specialist and professor, horticulture and landscape architecture; and R. Cox, Extension horticulture agent, Arapahoe County. Trees generally take one year to establish for each inch of trunk diameter. Continue to provide supplemental moisture as needed until the ground is frozen. Large established shrubs (more than 6 feet) require 18 gallons on a monthly basis. If you live in Denver, a warmer region, or an area with a mild winter, you can hydrate your tree in winter if it looks thirsty. But when the temperature cools in the late summer, the grass will green up and grow again. Unfortunately, as simple as lawn watering is in practice, many lawn owners get it wrong. Webmaster | Know that your lawn is benefiting from the sprinklers. It’s a “given” for most of us. As a general rule of thumb, to maintain the level of moisture needed for germination, you should be watering twice a day for about 10 to 15 minutes. Apply water to the most critical part of the root zone within the dripline. Just make sure the thermometer reads over 40 degrees. Because of the harsh Texas climate, many residents are unsure of the best lawn watering schedule to follow. Water is the best treatment to prevent turf injury (see fact sheet 5.505, Clover and Other Mites of Turfgrass.). Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. In the winter, the surface of the ground cools, but the deeper layers are probably still warmer. Wherever you live, Extension’s job is to determine what issues, concerns and needs are unique to each community, and offer sound and effective solutions. Higher air temperature, increased wind, and sunlight will all cause more water consumption. When winter approaches, you’re naturally asking yourself, “When should I stop watering my lawn?” To answer that question, you need to know when the ground is officially considered “frozen.” Here’s the short answer: When the ground contains water and the temp falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for several consecutive days, you have seasonally frozen ground. Watering at any time of day is better than not watering at all. The length of time that the air is cold is a determining factor. Standing water or prolonged heavy rain could ruin some of the seed or possibly wash the seed away. When to Stop Watering Annuals and Perennials in Fall Established large trees have a root spread equal to or greater than the height of the tree. Newly planted trees are most susceptible to winter drought injury. Plan to water your tree up until temperatures dip into the 30s for a few days straight. Gilmour’s Adjustable Pattern Master Circular Sprinkler will water an area up to almost 6,000 square feet, reaching a circular area about 86 feet across. Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night. Anticipate needing to water your lawn during the fall to keep your grass healthy and prepared for the long-term. If it’s mild, then you can keep at it depending on the rainfall in your region. Remember, soil takes longer than air to retain or lose heat, so cooler soil occurs after not just a cold day or two, but a good stretch of days with chilly temperatures. Keep track of rain and watering using a rain gauge placed in the garden. In the winter, grass goes dormant and doesn’t require watering. Lawn Mowing: If you’re unsure of the seasonal details when it comes to taking care of your yard in the chillier (and freezing) months, you’ve come to the right place. Start watering your lawn too early and it goes to waste as soil isn’t in the condition to sufficiently absorb it. Instead, mow the grass after a rainfall or after irrigation day. The rule that I have found reading several articles on this topic and having looked at this topic of when to stop watering in a past article is looking at the soil temperature map. Mow frequently enough so that no more than ⅓ of the grass blade is removed. The particles are closer together in the denser soils, and the freezing process slows. Lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall. Remember that the days are shorter, and the sun doesn’t hold its intensity for nearly as long as the summer months. Moisture and temperature are the two main factors in germination. Water your plants with room temperature water. Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise. Measure with Cans. At this point you can stop watering as frequently and treat the sod as you would an established lawn. Water within the dripline of the shrub and around the base. Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. If using a deep-root fork or needle, insert no deeper than 8 inches into the soil. It’s different from the temperature you’re experiencing in the air. Fungal diseases may take hold if your lawn is overwatered. We have 3 regions; Peaks and Plains, Front Range and Western. If you’re wondering when to stop watering the lawn in Texas, as well as other plants, we’ll give you the rundown here. This schedule helps the lawn remain greener and healthier the next time water is scarce. Small established shrubs (less than 3 feet tall) should receive 5 gallons monthly. … Use a ruler to measure your tree’s diameter at 6″ above ground level. Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night. Woody plants with shallow root systems require supplemental watering during extended dry fall and winter periods. Grass planted adjacent to streets or parking lots will also use more water, particularly if the paved surface is dark colored. Go too long without watering your lawn and it starts to die. Newly established lawns, whether seeded or sodded, are especially susceptible. Evergreen plants that benefit include spruce, fir, arborvitae, yew, Oregon grape-holly, boxwood, and Manhattan euonymus. Woody plants also benefit from mulch to conserve soil moisture. Susceptibility increases for lawns with south or west exposures. How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Using Home Remedies, Top 7 Houston Landscaping Ideas for Every Taste, Easy Steps to a Trouble-Free Sod Installation in Houston, Texas, Definitive Guide to Safe and Effective Lawn Fertilization. Methods of watering trees include: sprinklers, deep-root fork or needle, soaker hose or soft spray wand. Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy. So, do you water grass in the winter? Standing water or prolonged heavy rain could ruin some of the seed or possibly wash the seed away. When the weather gets hot and dry, many people get the hosepipe out and water their lawns.. Don’t Stop Watering Your Lawn in Fall. Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night. Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns under these conditions may be damaged if they do not receive supplemental water. To get a good idea of what’s happening under your grass, you’ll need to monitor the weather. Overall, watering too often will weaken your lawn. Regardless of whether or not you anticipate snowfall, do not stop watering your lawn until the ground freezes. Water is vital in the winter months when there is not adequate rainfall. Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. Grass mowed at the proper height, and not scalped, develops a deeper root system to better find water and nutrients in the soil. How to Tell If You've Watered Enough. of precipitation per week. Herbaceous perennials and ground covers in exposed sites are more subject to winter freezing and thawing. For example, a two-inch diameter tree needs 20 gallons per watering. Windy sites result in faster drying of sod and plants and require additional water. As a general survival rule, apply 10 gallons of water for each diameter inch of the tree. It’s usually warm in Texas well into September and October. A solid layer (persisting for more than a month) of ice on lawns can cause suffocation or result in matting of the grass. When to Stop Watering Annuals and Perennials in Fall Apply 5 gallons two times per month for a newly planted shrub. Just because you’re breaking out the jackets and boots doesn’t mean it’s time to stop watering your lawn. Herbaceous perennial establishment periods vary. This is why the cold temperatures of northern winters are said to create desert conditions. Non-Discrimination Statement | Avoid mowing the lawn during drought stress. the grass and soil. These include European white and paper birches; Norway, silver, red, Rocky Mountain and hybrid maples; lindens, alders, hornbeams, dogwoods, willows, and mountain ashes. While reducing irrigation is an essential part of caring for autumn lawns, don’t stop watering abruptly. Proper Ground Temperature for cool-season grasses (such as Fescue) When the weather gets hot and dry, many people get the hosepipe out and water their lawns.. Higher air temperature, increased wind, and sunlight will all cause more water consumption. Lawn watering is often stopped in early fall. You need to stay minimal irrigation going all winter long unless your space gets a minimum of one inch. If you live in an area that consistently gets snow over the winter seasons then you can stop watering around the end of September or October because at that time your lawn is going into dormancy. Bare root plants require longer to establish than container plants. Check the Soil. You should water most lawns so that the top 6-8 inches of soil is moist, which translates to 1-1.5 inches of water per week. Watering Guidelines. Unless your lawn is receiving hydration from adequate rainfall, you still need to water it through the fall season. Newly established lawns, whether seeded or sodded, are especially susceptible. However, historic ET and rainfall data for most of Minnesota shows a need of 0.5 to 1.0 inches of irrigation per week during September and October. Garden beds with non-native flowers or vegetables usually need some water in the driest months. If overseeding a lawn where you have established grass, be sure to keep the seed moist by watering lightly twice a day. Often there is little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture from October through March. Set your lawn mower to the right height. Conventional thinking is that because evapo-transpiration (ET) rates are low and the turf isn’t growing much, it is OK to stop watering. Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant. By watering only one time per week, you force the grass’ roots to dig deeper for available water. When it comes to when to fertilize your lawn, this is the most important factor at playthat determines when the best time is for a feed. CSU Horticulture Agents and Specialists Blog, Capric Acid: A Promising Next-Generation Herbicide for Organic Specialty Crop Production, Columnar and Fastigiate Trees for CO Landscapes, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) on Irrigated Pasture, Pulse Crops and their Key Role as Staple Foods in Healthful Eating Patterns, Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) and Soil Health. Don’t think about forsaking your watering duties until the ground freezes. Diseases can set in if your lawn is receiving too much moisture. Revised 3/13. Disclaimer | Temperature and Weather. This opens cracks in soil that expose roots to cold and drying. Aerating—The best time to aerate a fescue lawn is during temperate fall or spring months. The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems. To eliminate any risk of hurting your plant, use room temperature water. After the ground freezes, it would be pointless to water grass because the frozen ground would act as a barrier, blocking the water's path to the roots. Plan to water your tree up until temperatures dip into the 30s for a few days straight. For example, a two inch diameter (caliper) tree takes a minimum of two years to establish under normal conditions. If the temperature rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, your lawn will need more water than usual. Lawns also are prone to winter damage. Susceptibility increases for lawns with south or west exposures. In general, it’s best to continue watering your grass during the fall. A slow-release fertilizer is great to apply as you keep watering. Apply water to many locations under the dripline and beyond if possible. Apply to CSU | Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover. Tip #4: When in Drought. The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely on south or west exposures. While reducing irrigation is an essential part of caring for autumn lawns, don’t stop watering abruptly. If your lawn has a sandier soil type, expect the ground to freeze sooner. When it’s time to water, choose an appropriate sprinkler for your lawn to save on water use. Windy sites result in faster drying of sod and plants and require additional wat… The cold top layer insulates the levels beneath. The rule of thumb for lawns is to water one-inch deep each time you water. Monitor weather conditions and water during extended dry periods without snow cover – one to two times per month. Equal Opportunity | Keep an eye on rainfall totals and remember that most lawns only need 3/4 inch to 1 inch or water per week. 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