WINTERIZING YOUR DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM
During the winter months when plants have gone dormant, your drip irrigation needs to be disconnected from the outdoor faucet and the timer stored indoors. Here’s how to do this:
- At the faucet unscrew the brown drip tubing line from the timer. Leave this disconnected and allow it to drain.
- Unscrew the timer from your faucet.
- Remove the batteries from your timer and discard appropriately. This protects the timer in case the batteries rupture and leak.
- Store your timer indoors for next season’s use.
CARING FOR YOU PLANTS IN THE WINTER
Plants may need watering during long, dry spells in the winter, even if they are dormant and look like sticks! This is especially true of young plants whose roots are limited and still relatively shallow. You can water by hand or by temporarily reconnecting your brown drip line directly to your faucet. Either way, water so plants are well and deeply watered. Be sure to disconnect the hose when you’re done.
If you’re unsure how much to water, here are some tips.
- Larger trees and shrubs will require deeper, more thorough watering than small shrubs.
- Small trees and shrubs will need more frequent watering during extended dry periods.
Please remember your drip irrigation is a valuable tool that assists you with your watering needs! While we’d love to give you a specific prescription or formula for how long to water, there are just too many variables. Use your fingers or a stick to probe the soil 6-12” inches below the surface – deeper for larger plants. If it’s moist, the plants are in good shape. If your plants need a drink, hand water for 4-5 minutes per plant (longer for larger plants) or run the system for 20 minutes.
TO COVER OR NOT TO COVER
The vast majority of our landscape plants are hardy enough to handle our coldest weather. There are a few that can benefit from being covered when temps drop below 32oF for several hours or days.
- Gardenias: Add some additional mulch in the winter to protect roots from freezing and a light cover when temps dive.
- Camellias when heavily budded or blooming. The plants will survive the cold but the buds may drop or blooms get burned during a freeze. Covering will help protect them.
- Loropetalum: These will survive the cold but will drop leaves after a hard freeze. Cover if you like, or allow them to be what they are in the winter. New leaves will unfurl in the spring.