1150 Washington St, Auburn, KS, 66402 | 785-256-7300
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Although all perennial plants benefit from watering when soils are dry in the fall, it is especially important for evergreens because moisture is easily lost from the foliage. Newly planted trees and shrubs also are more at risk due to limited root systems. Even trees and shrubs planted the last 2 to 3 years are more sensitive to drought than a well-established plant. A good deep watering with moisture reaching at least a foot down into the soil, is much better than several light sprinklings that just wet the top portions of the soil.
A deep watering will ensure that the majority of roots have access to water. Roots that actually absorb water are killed when the soil temperature reaches 28 degrees F. Those near the surface do not last long in our Kansas winters. We must rely on roots that are deeper, and provide moisture for them to absorb.
To protect perennial plants from winter damage, it is important that they go into winter with moist soil. Many areas of Kansas have been exceptionally dry this growing season. Couple that with the weather we had last year and the previous winter and many plants are under high levels of stress. Watering now will help alleviate at least some of that stress. If these plants do not go into the winter with moist soil, many may not survive. Others may appear to survive the winter and leaf out but then die suddenly when the weather turns hot in June.