Winter Moisture

November 12, 2010 | 9:11 am

There is some kind of natural attraction between a toddler and a garden hose. Everyone is going to get wet, except for the plant I am trying to water. Watering is a yearlong chore at our house.I do not put my garden hoses away permanently for winter; instead, I leave them accessible for winter watering. 

I have lost trees in the past because I did not water during a long dry winter. This was very embarrassing, to a master gardener, who knows a lack of water can cause irreversible damage in trees and shrubs.  In my defense, who wants to drag a water hose around when it’s so cold?

Now I bundle up and suck it up for my landscape. During fall and winter, when the ground is not frozen, I will slowly and deeply water our landscape plants. To do this, I barely turn the spigot and allow the water to just trickle out. On my large trees, I will let it trickle for about an hour per tree. The goal is that the water will provide moisture to at least the first foot of the plants root zone.  Without proper moisture, the roots cannot move water, oxygen and nutrients the plants need in order to survive.

No one said being a gardener would be without sacrifice.

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