Don’t let your plants go into winter thirsty!

With the extremely dry fall we’ve had this year, we’re enjoying the rain that is coming our way this week and next. But even with the rainfall, our plants will still be dry and thirsty as we’re down roughly six inches of rain since September.

We recommend supplementing the rainfall by thoroughly soaking your plants as if we had an entire day’s worth of rain.

Don’t worry, you can’t overwater your plants during a single watering session as the excess water that is not absorbed by the plant will simply run off the soil. No plant wants to go into winter dry! If our plants go dormant for the winter while dry, it’s less likely that they’ll thrive in the spring or even survive.

With new plantings, it’s important to follow our planting and watering instructions throughout the fall season and continue to check the plants for water every three to five days, and water as needed. With established plants, check them weekly through the rest of the calendar year and thoroughly soak them when needed.  Broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, rhododendrons and laurels tend to need water the most at this time of year. This is especially true if we have less than the normal amount of rainfall, like we’re experiencing in our area right now.

Remember that it’s not too late to plant your trees and shrubs. You can continue planting throughout the rest of the year and into winter. The only time to avoid planting is when the ground is deeply frozen, which may occur in our area only for only a few weeks in January or February.

As we enter the winter months, we also recommend turning off the water to the outside of your house to prevent hose bibs and pipes from freezing. If we have a warmer day in January or February, remember to turn the water back on and thoroughly soak all of your plants in the landscape, especially new plantings and broad-leaf evergreens. A pocket hose can be a great tool for this type of watering as they roll up and store easily. When you’re done watering, turn the water to the outside of your house back off to prevent the pipes from freezing in the future.

If you have any questions about specific plants and their water requirements, please visit our Plant Clinics at any of our three stores, or call in and speak with one of our plant specialists. We will also update you on our Facebook page with our latest recommendations throughout the rest of the season.