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Can you tell me, what's the deal with watering in winter? I've heard that foundation plants which don't catch the rain under the eaves must be watered even in wintertime. Someone else says that watering anything in winter subjects it to freezing. Now I'm in a quandary. I don't want my plants to freeze to death, nor do I want them to die of dehydration. So what's the answer?
According to Colorado State University Extension, you do need to water if there has not been snow or rain. You should water when the temperature is above freezing and the soil is not frozen. You should water early in the day so that the water can soak in before it gets cold overnight and freezes.
Here in the Puget Sound area we do not have freezing temperatures very often so you should go ahead and water, especially those plants under the eaves.
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Research shows that watering container plants in the afternoon leads to healthier, stronger growing plants compared to containerized plants watered early in the morning. Warren and Bilderback, Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2002, Vol. 20(3), Pages 184-188. However, watering the rest of the garden in the morning reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation, which is better for the utility bill!
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April 19 2012 16:02:30