Tip Of The Week! Help Your Yard Cope with A Warm, Dry October!
At mid-week, Colorado was tied for the fifth warmest October on record and poised to move higher in the ratings the last few days of the month. What does this warm/dry weather mean for our yards?
- If your sprinkler system was winterized early in the month, the lawn might need another drink. Check the soil moisture and especially, south-facing lawn areas that get full sun. They can dry quickly and will thank you for dragging the hose one more time to water them.
- If the sprinkler system is still operational, water again before it’s winterized.
- If you installed new sod this year, it will likely need consistent water in the weeks ahead because the lawn’s roots are not yet fully established. Winter watering may also be required.
Pansies and bulbs
- Pansies will bloom throughout the winter during warm spells. Keep them adequately watered to keep them blooming.
- Bulbs though tucked under the soil may still need water. New bulbs are now developing their roots. If the ground is too dry, bulbs can dry out which will deter root growth and hinder the plant’s ability to bloom well in the spring. In springtime if the ground is dry, water bulb beds even before leaves emerge.
If trees have not been watered during the last few weeks, they should probably be watered – and definitely, newly-planted trees. If the warm/dry weather scenario flows into winter, be prepared to water trees regularly throughout dry months.
Why trees need consistent water: trees are not like most of the lawns in Colorado. Lawns go dormant under drought stress as their coping mechanism and can usually be revived by watering. Trees, on the other hand, are not so resilient.
Any combination of three weather events can be the strike-out that kills a tree. For example, drought stress + insects/disease problems + winter storm damage in combination add up to three strikes that can out a tree.
Since we have little control over insects and disease and none over the weather, providing water is the one strike we can manage. Keeping a tree healthy by watering it regularly will also help it fight off pests and disease. Fertilization and proper pruning also bolster its viability.
Trees are the most expensive plant investment in our yards and consequently, the most expensive to replace. Proper watering is one critical thing you can do to help maintain that investment.
Courtesy of ALCC Sustainable Landscape Partners