Winter Watering Wonderland

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

The weather over the next few days may take some people out of the holiday spirit and back into their yards. Experts say there are still many things you can do now that will give new life to yards and gardens come spring.

Most of the leaves have fallen, but just because the trees are bare it doesn't mean the yard work is done. Summer's searing temperatures and lack of rain damaged lawns, but for now re-seeding is an option.

"Go ahead and do some power raking and then to some re-seeding," says UNL extension educator John Fech. "The best time for that would have been about two or three weeks ago, but is it still an acceptable time to do that? As long as the weather conditions permit, yes. It is still a reasonable time to go ahead and do that."

Fech feels the main focus should be on the turf followed by shrubs and newer trees. It's easy to test the soil to see how much moisture is present. Watering should be done with hoses and in small amounts. The soil won't be able to absorb as much water as in the spring and summer and cans can help control the amount of water in any area.

There are also specialty hoses available for specific jobs. “Step one is to do some watering, slowly and gradually. Step two is to test and see how far that has soaked in."

Fech suggests that a couple of days after watering to re-test the soil moisture content and apply more water if necessary. Of course after the watering for the day is done you will want to detach the hose and bleed the water line in order to prevent the water from freezing and breaking the water pipes.

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