Learn the extra steps you need to take to
keep your landscape healthy in the cold
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are several steps you can take to protect the pipes and hoses in your home and landscape from cold weather:
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.
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.
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