Winter? What Winter?

February has nearly gone, and with the exception of a few days, it’s been the warmest I remember.  Here’s what to look for in your landscape as a result:

fhl front 4

The endless Chinook winds that made this month so unusual have defrosted the top few inches of the ground, and that can mean problems for plants later this spring.  Those drying winds not only melt the water in the top of the soil, but wicks the melted water away from the delicate feeder roots of your trees and shrubs.  Essentially, if you see bare ground in your yard, park, or garden, you should be watering.  Conifers are especially vulnerable, as they don’t stop undergoing photosynthesis over the winter.  This means that they’re still actively growing (albeit very slowly) while the deciduous plants have gone fully dormant.  If you have Junipers, Pines, Spruces, or Cedars it’s time to water them.

Deciduous trees aren’t to be ignored, however.  The last two months have been warm enough that any trees and shrubs that aren’t still surrounded by snow and ice will need some water to help them through this season.  A good rule of thumb: if you can pour water around the root zone of a plant and it settles into the ground, that plant will thank you.  If the water stays on the surface and forms a puddle – that plant doesn’t need to be watered yet.