My business is plants. A large part of that business of mine is sharing all I know about plant care with my clients so they will be successful in all their horticultural pursuits. My greatest trick or technique of all is winter watering.
Part of the reason I am writing this right now on 12/8/09 is because the “big freeze” is right around the corner. The “big freeze” is when the ground freezes solid and your friends here at Blue River Nursery can no longer get their shovels in the ground. I hate that day!
That day will be here more than likely in the next week. Usually around here in Northeastern Indiana the big freeze is around the time of Thanksgiving. The past two years it has been well after that. Last year it was on January 3, which was as late as I had ever seen it.
Right before the “big freeze” comes on it is a great idea to get out there with the hose and water all your plants in one more time. This watering does not need to be for as long or with as much water as you usually water with during the warmer seasons. Just give them a good drink and make sure they got a decent drink of water. If you water too much the water will just puddle and freeze around the trunk of the plant or bush. This will not kill the plant, but it is just unnecessary.
The main plants to do this with are the ones that you have planted in the past two or three years. You definitely want to water the ones in that were planted this year. If you are going into winter dry it’s a great idea to winter water. This will prevent tip dieback and bronzing of the evergreens foliage, which some folks deem unattractive. The ice that will form in the ground will actually protect the roots of your plats from drying out as well.
There is not much else to say about this technique. It is simple and separates the average gardener from the advanced or even expert gardener.