Water in this weird, dry 'freezing nights' spring?

grandma_gardener_02April 7, 2012

As everywhere else my perennials have all been starting their spring growth. It has been in the 50's and 60's during the day, but in the 30's or even lower, i.e. freezing at night. No rain for weeks and seemingly unending strong, dry winds. The soil in all my beds seems powder dry. My husband says that 3-4" down it is probably still wet [I still haven't checked this one out myself], but a number of perennials are new from last year and I would guess still have pretty shallow roots. Keeping in mind that the newer ones have gone through their first winter and that our temps at night are still freezing, should I start regularly watering them?

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miclino(5)

Good question. Wondering that myself. We have another couple of dry freezing nights coming. Some of the hydrangeas look like a blackened mess of sticks

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:11PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

If the soil is dry, water them.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:35PM
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gardenweed_z6a

If this weather pattern continues to hold, I think watering will become essential since there was no snow cover to melt, sink down and moisten the earth. We've also had the same strong, drying winds here every day, day after day. Whenever I check the 5-day forecast, it shows sun & clouds. This time last year I was pumping water out of my cellar.

miclino - my hydrangeas look the same as yours. That hard freeze week before last zapped them even though I tried to cover them as best I could with the wind blowing a gale.

The majority of my new perennials were grown from seed via winter sowing so their roots are deep & healthy but even so, they still need moisture to thrive. I've got just under 200 winter sown milk jugs sitting on my breezeway that are beginning to dry out. I use shallow plastic storage bins for bottom watering. Methinks I need to buy several more. The first two years I winter sowed, we had heavy spring rains and I actually carried a couple hundred jugs inside my garage so they could dry out!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

your soil should be damp .. either it is.. or you make it so ...

but with cold nights.. once the soil is damp .. you do not need to water them every day.. like you might in august ... dont drown them ...

make sense???

bottom line.. INSERT FINGER AND FIND OUT.. no guessing ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 6:13PM
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