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UW Publication: Plants Benefit from Winter Watering

January 23, 2008

The benefits of winter watering plants and trees are described in a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.

Dry soils can cause serious damage to root systems of herbaceous (without woody stems) perennial plants, shrubs and trees, says Karen Panter, extension horticulturist and author of Winter Watering, publication B-1186. Watering during the winter, if possible, will safeguard plants against root damage and prepare them for the next growing season.

During winter, when there is no snow cover, when temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, when the ground is not frozen and when the wind is not blowing, homeowners are encouraged to get out their hoses, Panter says. Water enough to moisten the soil at least six to eight inches down. Remember to drain and store hoses again to prevent ice damage to the hose or water taps.

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