With apologies to Frank Loesser, his song, Baby It’s Cold Outside, has been running through my head with a few changes:
We really can’t sleigh (baby it’s dry outside)
The warmth’s got to go away (baby it’s dry outside)
This winter we’ve been (hoping that snow’d drop in)
Not very nice (I’ll warm up the hose, it’s stopped up with ice)
Trees aren’t the only thing that need water in a dry winter – and boy, is it dry. The federal Climate Prediction Center has said most of the Front Range and all of eastern Colorado is in a moderate drought. We’ve gotten just a whisper of water since July, so monthly watering of your landscape is a must.
In a previous post, how to water your trees was described, but lawns, too, need a drink. “Established lawns will benefit from watering, but the critical ones that need moisture are the ones that are new,” says Dr. Tony Koski, Extension Turf Specialist with Colorado State University Extension. If you put down sod after September 15, you should water it.
Even if you don’t have a new lawn, watering the grass is important, and if you’ve been plagued by lawn mite problems in the past, water that yard soon, he said. “This is when mite populations start to rise, especially on warm days when they get a little active and frisky. They’re frisking around, the population starts to rise, and though mites haven’t started to damage the lawn, their potential to do so increases with their numbers.” Mites prefer bone-dry grass, so hold them at bay with moisture.
To water a lawn in winter, warm days with temperatures above 45-degrees is a must. Fortunately we have plenty to choose from, since we’re in the 50’s and 60’s several days per week.
Drag out your hose with a sprinkler, or set the water to a slow trickle. “The problem is that everything is frozen, but you don’t want water puddling on the lawn. And the worst thing is forming a layer of ice on it; that really harms the turf. So it probably won’t take more than a quarter to half-inch of water before you get standing water and puddles.”
Set your timers to tell you when to move the hose or shut off the water. Most importantly, disconnect the hose from the house before evening so you don’t run the risk of frozen pipes.