At Watermaster Irrigation, we know that as 2022 draws to a close and the winter weather brings freezing temperatures to finally kill all of the hard work you put into your gardens and lawns this year, many of you are already planning next year’s layout. We know It’s hard to watch those vivid greens and beautiful pastels turn yellow and brown as the sky changes from blue to gray. That’s why we put together a few tips for all master gardeners, gentle green thumbs, and newly realized plant enthusiasts. However, 2023 is just around the corner, and it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s garden.
Winter Watering is Crucial
Watering a garden that isn’t growing or appears altogether dead may seem laughable, but it’s vital in the growing process.
Perennials are plants that go dormant in winter and begin growing again in spring and summer. Many of these plants may look dead when those colder months hit, but choosing not to water them is a grave mistake because dormant plants continue to draw water from the soil. Usually, a light snow or downpour would be enough to keep these plants alive, but in dry West Texas conditions, you’ll need to compensate for the lack of moisture with your preferred method for watering.
It’s not just your plants that need a solid watering once or twice a month. Many lawns go dormant during winter. Refusing to water your lawn will make the soil brittle. When this happens, your root system dies, and bald patches in your yard may begin to take shape.
At Watermasters, we recommend creating a watering schedule for winter that allows for proper soaking twice a month when natural precipitation isn’t present. Water on warmer days when the temperature is above 40 degrees and preferably at midday to ensure that it has plenty of time to soak in before freezing again at night. Because we recommend winterizing your sprinkler system to avoid freeze damage, this watering is best done with a garden hose, an external sprinkler head, or a watering can. Thankfully, these methods should be manageable because you won’t be doing them as often.
Choose Native Plants for Your Garden
Some master gardeners claim to be able to grow anything anywhere. But, for the rest, native plant life is an excellent choice when we start drawing out next year’s plans. Planting native can ensure you have a flourishing lawn next year while eliminating many frustrations with keeping non-local, transplanted plants alive.
Box stores tend to have beautiful plants on display, but when you get them home and plant them, they are nearly impossible to keep alive, a sad fact that usually has to do with climate zoning. Those beautiful plants are typically transported from growers in another part of the country, shown to people who don’t usually see them and then purchased for their exotic beauty. Unless these plants are house plants, they probably won’t survive in a climate that significantly differs from the one they were grown in. Native plants, on the other hand, have a much higher rate of success because they have already adapted to the climate in which you will plant them. The soil will already have (or be close to) the correct PH levels. You won’t have to worry too much about how much sunlight is needed, and watering them won’t be as tricky because the plant already thrives in whatever natural moisture is occurring in your climate zone.
While it may be tempting to plant something in your yard that your neighbors can admire for its uniqueness, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress, time, and money by choosing plants that already inhabit your surroundings.
Grow Fruit to Cure Those Winter Blues
If you’re feeling down about your plants now, there’s a good chance you’ll feel something similar when the cold comes back next winter. That’s why Watermasters suggests fruit as a good cure for the winter gardening blues. Planting fruit trees, vines, and shrubs is an excellent way to inspire yourself during those months when nothing grows.
A large orchard might come to mind when we think of fruit trees. Oranges, grapefruits, apples, all of these fruits thrive on farms where trees stretch out to the horizon, but you don’t need a large farm to grow fruit. Many of these fruit trees now have dwarf versions that can complement smaller spaces and provide an excellent harvest of fresh fruit in the autumn. These small trees can usually be found at any nursery and come in wide varieties, including figs, apples, mulberries, lemons, oranges, and pears. Adding a small tree to your landscape not only gives you fruit for winter cooking but also gives you a permanent fixture in your garden.
Watermasters Can Help You with Your Garden
While winter can be cold and dreary as we patiently wait for spring to pop up, Watermasters wants you to know that we’re here to help you when it’s time to start watering again. Installing sprinkler systems before spring rolls around is an excellent call to make. If you’re too busy to monitor your garden’s watering manually, a sprinkler system can help ensure that your plants get the moisture they need to thrive. So if you’d like an easy solution to lawn and garden watering, contact Watermasters today and get your sprinkler system installed and ready for spring.