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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Winter Landscape Tips

Winter Landscape Tips

Learn the extra steps you need to take to
keep your landscape healthy in the cold
winter months.

During the winter, sprinkler irrigation is limited to one assigned day per week. Make sure you water on your assigned watering day.

Watering restrictions also apply to drip irrigation. Sunday is not an optional watering day.

Water in the midmorning to avoid the afternoon winds that keep your sprinklers from hitting their grass target. You also will reduce the risk of icing that can occur if you water during early morning or evening.

Check Your Sprinklers

Turn on your sprinklers after you mow and scan for broken or misaligned heads, as well as broken pipes. A twisted head could water your sidewalk instead of your grass.

Protect Pipes and Hoses

There are several steps you can take to protect the pipes and hoses in your home and landscape from cold weather:

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses when they are not being used.
  • Insulate your irrigation backflow device by draping a towel over it and cover with a bucket or other protective cover that touches the ground. Never obstruct or seal the ports of a backflow protection device.
  • Wrap exposed irrigation pipes with pipe insulation, insulated "faucet socks," an old towel or duct tape.
  • Set heat to 55 degrees when you're away to protect pipes and houseplants.
  • Turn off the water valves to your washing machine to avoid flooding from burst hoses.
  • Don't leave interior or exterior pipes dripping. Valley temperatures generally don't drop low enough for a long enough period of time to warrant it.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve and learn how to turn off water at its source, so you can ward off damage from leaks or burst lines. Know how to turn off your irrigation backflow device as well.

Daylight Saving Time Ends

Don't forget to reset your irrigation clock when daylight saving time ends on the first Sunday in November. When you're changing your indoor clocks, make sure you also change the time on your irrigation clock. This also is a great time to check your clock's batteries.

Protect New Plants

February is usually mild enough to allow you to plant petunias, pansies, snapdragons and other cool-season annuals in a well-drained, highly enriched soil. Adding protective mulch on the soil around your plants will conserve water so you don't have to water as often. Remember to stake new plants and water them deeply to prevent damage from winds and burning young leaves.

Revive Roses

Fertilize established rose bushes now to encourage spring blooms and put down a 3-inch layer of mulch around each plant. Always water before and after applying fertilizer.

Fertilize Fruit Plants

Peak blooming season is in the spring, and the best time to fertilize fruit trees and grapes is the six weeks before and after they bloom. Fertilize in late winter for the finest fruit.

Leave Damaged Plants Alone

If you notice frost or a freeze has damaged a plant, leave it alone until warmer weather arrives and new growth appears. Pruning or transplanting a damaged plant during winter months can hurt or even kill it.

Pruning

The ideal time to prune trees and shrubs is in late winter, when plants are mostly dormant. Finish heavy pruning by mid-February, before buds show evidence of swelling. Don't prune more than one-quarter of the living tissue during the year.

Protect Your Pets

You can keep your pets safe during cold weather by using the following tips:

  • Make sure your pets are indoors, if possible, during cold weather.
  • If your pets are outside, make sure they have access to draft- free shelters, elevated off the ground, to keep themselves warm.
  • Make sure your pets get plenty of water.
  • Keep paws away from salts, if you use salt to mitigate snow/ice.
  • Make sure, if you're using anti-freeze or any other chemicals, that you keep them away from your pets.

Protect Your Pool

You can help reduce risks to your pool and/or spa from freezing conditions by following some of these tips:

  • During freezing temperatures run the filtration pump and jet pumps continuously.
  • Adjust pool and spa jets upwards to reduce surface freezing.
  • Maintain proper pool water level at all times.
  • Have all air and water leaks repaired.
  • Remove and store all pool accessories in a clean, dry area.

You should also consult with your pool maintenance company to see about winterizing your pool.

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