Winter watering; what time's best?

tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)December 18, 2005

During warm/hot/hellish months, I made every effort to water early. All the reasons for doing this made sense. Now that it's colder than a ... well, cold enough to chatter my teeth in the early hours, I've started watering at dusk. Besides the convenience, I rationalize that watering plants at ground level keeps them warmer and helps prevent frostbite. Is there any real logic to this - or is there a recommended protocol for winter watering?

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Good question!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 8:12PM
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I think its best to not water before 10 AM. Even though the water is warmer than the air it evaporates which cools things off. When temperatures are a little above freezing this extra cooling will create frost and even icicles. The ice will form the most aggresively as soon as the sprinklers go off (no more warm water being sprayed). I've witnessed this first hand.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 3:29PM
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birdlady_in_mesa(z9 AZ)

I changed our sprinklers to water at 1:00 pm. once a week, for 25 minutes- the grass sections are turned off. Everything seems to do well with that amount of water and that frequency. I do have some pots and smaller gardens that I hand water between the sprinkler watering, if I see they look dry. Sometimes if there has been a wind and the air is dry, they can dry out very quickly. If it looks like rain or is raining, I try to turn them off, but sometimes it looks like rain, but doesn't. Then I just set them to water the next day, rain or no rain predicted.
If a frost is predicted, my hubby gets home at 3:30 and will run all the sprinklers for about 10 minutes. This helps if there is going to be a freeze or frost.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:50PM
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