Many people are asking whether to water their lawns in the winter. In Central Texas, that can be a loaded question. Some winters, the temperatures do not drop low enough for a long enough time for our lawns to even go dormant. In that case, if we do not receive ½” of rain, we would advise watering about ½” every two weeks. During our colder winters, when grass turns brown and goes dormant, the roots still remain viable and grow very slowly. In the absence of rain, a monthly watering of ½” should keep the roots healthy until new growth resumes in the spring.
Take-All Patch is a common disease in Texas lawns, and infected turf is more likely to die from dry conditions than non-infected lawns. Additionally, drought conditions appear to predispose turf to Take-all Patch infection. Proper irrigation year-round will help maintain a dense turf, which is less likely to be invaded by weeds and will be more efficient in nutrient and water uptake.
Raking leaves off lawns is especially important in warm winters, when the grass does not go completely dormant. All leaves should be raked off lawns to insure good air circulation and that water can get through to the roots.
For more information on lawn watering year-round, please visit our website and access my lawn watering blog. A few basic principles can really make a difference when trying to keep a healthy lawn.