Winter Watering Tips
Even though landscape plants are dormant and brown, they should be watered periodically.
When to water
Winter Watering Tips
Dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture, and fluctuating temperatures are characteristics of fall and winter in many areas of Colorado. Often there is little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture from October through March.
Learn more at https://www.pcva.org/uploads/7/8/8/7/78875826/csu_winter_water_fact_sheet.pdf
Winter Tree Watering Tips
Tall Timbers Tree and Shrub Service offers these tips.
Although trees remain dormant during the winter, they are not immune to cold and dry conditions. Trees experience the stress of harsh winter weather and it’s usually a lack of water that causes the most damage. Colorado Springs only received 1.41 inches of rain the past 3 months and heading into the winter with dry roots can mean major trouble for your trees in the spring. The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of the tree's root system.
Affected trees may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy. Established trees should be watered two times a month September and October and once a month from November to March. Trees that don't get enough water can suffer stress and drought injury. Trees may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise. The signs of drought stress often don't show up until the heat of the following summer, which then makes trees more susceptible to pests and disease.
Important factors to consider when watering trees:
-Newly planted trees that have been planted within the last 3 years are more susceptible to damage from drought conditions and need to be watered more frequently than established trees. Water them to a depth of 24 inches three times a month in the fall and twice a month in the winter.
-Evergreen trees lose water through their needles in the dry winter air. They need more stored-up water going into the winter season to make up for that. Cold, dry winds can strip water from evergreens faster than their roots can absorb it. That is why it is especially important to provide enough water in the fall and during dry spells in the winter.
-Even though they lose their leaves, deciduous trees should also not get too dry in the fall and winter. Water acts as an insulator for both the tree and soil. Soil that stays moist will be warmer. Likewise, plant cells that are plump with water will be less susceptible to damage from the cold. Water deciduous trees to a depth of 24 inches twice a month during the fall and once a month in the winter.
-When watering any tree, remember to apply water out to the edge of the tree’s canopy drip line. Most established trees have a root spread equal to their height and beyond. Water deeply and avoid spraying foliage. Watering to the right depth depends on your specific soils, so you will want to measure how much water it takes your soils to reach 24 inches deep.
Watering Limits End October 15th
Under the City rules, residents that use sprinklers and other irrigation systems to water lawns and gardens may only do so three times a week. From May 1 to Oct. 15, landscape watering must take place before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
Learn more and see the The Integrated Water Resource Plan at www.csu.org/Pages/waterwiserules.aspx
Keep Yard Waste and Leaves Out of Drains
Yard Waste and Fall Leaves
Did you know grass clippings and leaves blown into the street during yard maintenance end up in storm drains and waterways? This causes problems in the city’s stormwater drainage system and can lead to flooding. It's also a violation of City Code and can result in fines.
Instead of blowing leaves yard waste into the street try:
- Composting: Researchers found that mulching leaves in the fall resulted in a greener lawn and up to 80% less dandelions the following springs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers it a form of recycling that prevents filling our landfills, helps prevent pollution, enriches soils and reduces the production of methane gas.
- Mulching: Using a mower to shred leaves speeds up their decomposition. The shredded leaves make excellent mulch and can be used in flower or vegetable gardens as a natural fertilizer and soil conditioner.
For more info, check out the Think Outside the Lawn: Managing Yard Waste & Landscape Debris brochure (pdf)
Other Ways to Think Outside the Lawn
- Stop erosion by covering bare ground with grass, gravel or mulch
- Direct runoff by installing swales or berms to slow waster down. Direct gutters and downspouts into green areas.
- Consider water gardens. The benefits include pollution control, flooding protection, habitat creation and water conservation
- Prevent blowing dust by covering gravel and dirt piles
- Consider a rain barrel. They divert water from our drainage systems and the water can be used to grow healthy and lush plants.
Blocked Street Drains Can Cause FloodingUnswept debris has the potential to flow into vital drainage systems, creating blockages that could cause flooding during the next rain or snow storm. Please remember that the drains on our streets are there for a very functional and important reason, and avoid letting yard debris (branches, clipping, leaves, etc.) move into the street and possibly down the gutter and into the drain.
To report a blocked drain, please call the City’s Stormwater Division at 719-385-ROAD (7623) or via the City’s free GoCoSprings App (available at https://www.coloradosprings.gov/gocosprings)