Winter Watering Is Important

Watering a container of pansies after a freeze

Today was a wonderful gardening day after many days of very cold weather. I decided to do some late planting of bulbs in some of my containers, and guess what? Most of the soil in the containers was still frozen. Even a large pot had only thawed a couple of inches. The frozen pots are depriving the plants of water. Because of this I watered all of my containerized plants today, as I always do when the temperature dips into the teens. I also planted some bulbs in my border which had a thick layer of mulch, and the ground was not frozen at all. I was expecting it to be frozen at least a half-inch. So even if you did not water all your containers today, do so as soon as possible to help keep the plants from being water deprived. Also when a hard freeze is predicted with the type of low temperatures we had this past week, I also like to water my containers before the freeze happens.This helps insulate the plants to some degree.
Also today while I planted tulips, which I always wait until early January, I cut and bagged the turf and got up the last of the leaves in the front yard. While my zoysia is all brown, the cut gives it a groomed look and helps get any of the stray leaves off the turf. With the leaves caught in the plants blown out, and the mulch I put down this fall leaf free, the front yard is a handsome winter landscape.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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