We’ve had a dry autumn so far. Your trees and shrubs will be dry headed into winter. Watering them will be necessary, and here’s how. (Hint: it’s not with a sprinkler.)
An Abnormally Dry Fall
Kansas City has been abnormally dry this fall — the National Weather Service posted that this September was the eighth driest on record. It’s been a drastic change from our super-wet summer. This winter may be dry, just like our autumn.
Soil Moisture Is Key
Plants need water, and good soil moisture is paramount to surviving any winter conditions that may come our way. June of 2015 was extremely rainy, but by August, many evergreen trees started to die off. (By the way, plants do need moisture even when they lie dormant for the winter.) The best way to soak a tree is to turn a water hose on a slow trickle and let it run in three or four different spots for about 15-20 minutes each. Younger trees will need 10 to 15 gallons of water soaking slowly in the soil for each year it’s been in the ground.
Soak Your Evergreens First, Then Move on to Deciduous Trees.
After you soak your evergreens, then turn your attention to younger shrubs and deciduous trees. If you thoroughly soak the soil, you shouldn’t need to water again for about 4-6 weeks.
Don’t Fall Into an “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Mentality.
A winter drought can make it easy to forget about your precious trees. We don’t think about how well our plants are doing until later — usually when spring is nearing. Spring or summer could mean it’s much too late for your trees. Don’t be someone throwing his or her hands up in bewilderment at a dead spruce tree. Take some precautions and give your plants the precious water it needs.