Winter lawn care can look a lot of different ways.
Especially when winter in Texas is so sporadic.
When it comes to determining how much to water your front yard, homeowners can take into consideration the soil type, amount of sun for the area, and if there’s a slope in the yard.
Watering once or twice a month is usually sufficient for most plants during the winter, according to the North Texas Municipal Water District. And a thick layer of mulch can help protect the landscape by holding in warmth and water.
According to Lawn Connections, walking on the lawn during the winter becomes an issue because grass and plants need to fight to live through the season. Each step across the lawn can disturb the much-needed mulch or fertilizer, and cause more damage then taking the shortcut across the yard during summer months.
As temperatures drop, it’s important to remember to water the yard in the morning versus at night, like you might do during the summer. You don’t want grass blades going to bed damp when the temperature is low otherwise, you’re inviting fungal diseases to your yard, according to Emerald Lawns. Watering the lawn in the mornings during the winter months also allows the water time to penetrate deep into the soil and root zone.
The winter months also equates to lower evaporation rates due to shorter days with less sunlight. Therefore, the soil stays wet longer during the winter, which means you can water less.
But how much water is necessary? Try taking a look at your grass. Does it look droopy? If you do walk across it, are there footprints? Your lawn may be trying to tell you something.
If it’s still unclear, try a moisture meter, which indicates soil moisture levels. But if one of those aren’t handy, a screwdriver will do the trick. Insert the tool into the soil about 6 inches. If the soil stuck to the screwdriver is wet, then you may skip watering. If it is dry, then it’s a good sign your lawn is ready for a drink. Most landscape water is waste due to overwatering, so getting the right amount is important for your yard’s health, your water bill, and conservation efforts.
It’s a good time to practicing smart watering decisions, because the next drought is always on the horizon. Infrequent but deep watering can essentially train a lawn to be drought tolerate. By watering deeper and less often, the lawn establishes deeper roots. Deep roots tolerate drought better.
“You don’t have to give up having an aesthetically pleasing lawn to conserve water. It is important for homeowners who want to enjoy lawns but are concerned about conservation to realize lawns don’t waste water, people do,” according to the Texas Water Development Board. “But it’s the strategic planning of lawns and landscape plants and watering practices that makes the difference between waste and conservation.”
Over the past few weeks, isolated pockets of heavy rainfall helped improve drought conditions across portions of the state, according to the Office of the Texas State Climatologist. But that doesn’t mean water conservation efforts aren’t still important. Not all areas of the state saw relief and are continuing to experience severe drought.