As the weather takes a turn and ushers in cooler temperatures, fall watering needs in the garden change, especially for those of us living in places where we experience four distinct seasons. Fall is a traditionally a time for adding new plantings, sprucing up window boxes, patching or re-seeding the lawn, and maintaining established plantings. It is also time to adjust the manner in which we water to make sure we are properly nourishing plants prior to winter.
It is not uncommon to see a decrease in the amount of watering that we do in the fall compared to summer. When not faced with the heat of summer, plants can focus on growing underground. During fall, most plant activity is in the roots, where we do not notice winter preparations taking place. New garden plantings will busily work to establish healthy root systems, while our established plantings begin to store up resources for the winter.
FALL GARDENING TIP: Autumn is the perfect time to pick up new perennial plantings, shrubs and bushes that are steeply discounted by local garden centers to move their inventory before the chill of winter.
Fall Watering Techniques
For new plantings, it is important to provide them with deep regular waterings. Established plants in your yard might require some attention too. This is especially true during years when summers are plagued with a drought. We should also water in the absence of substantial rainfall for two weeks in the Autumn season.
To determine if we are watering deeply enough, take a garden trowel and see how deep the moist soil is from the garden surface. For perennials and shrubs the soil should be moist to about 5 inches or so and for trees and evergreens you would aim for moist soil approximately 10 inches deep. Check the soil prior to re-watering each time in the fall to determine your plants’ needs. Watering should continue in the fall season until evening temperatures reach 40 degrees. You do not want to water when there is a threat of the ground freezing as it can damage delicate root systems of the plants.
Basic Watering Equipment:
Garden Hose– When it comes to garden hoses you get what you pay for. When shopping and selecting for a hose I prefer ones that are:
- 50 feet maximum or of lesser length for ease of handling
- Sturdy Construction
I have really enjoyed watering with this Gilmour Flexogen hose. It fits all the above criteria and more. My favorite part is that does not kink and is easy to recoil when I am done watering. This hose has 8 layers and is burst resistant up to 600 PSIs. Gilmour’s attention to detail is fantastic- even a spring at the spigot prevents a kinking.
Hose Nozzle– I love a nozzle that has a variety of settings from light mists for succulents and seed starting to a gentle rainfall for tender perennials. I also love a forceful setting on the nozzle for times when I need the force of the water to help rinse garden pests from plants or clean up my equipment. This nozzle from Gilmour meets all those needs and has a thumb control that regulates the stream from the nozzle. No longer does my hand get tired from squeezing the nozzle. By moving the thumb control forward or backward adjust the stream.
Sprinkler– There have been so many advances in sprinklers over the years. This sprinkler from Gilmour is an absolute favorite. Many of us with irregularly shaped areas of watering appreciate this thoughtful design. In mere seconds, with a simple push or pull, you can change the shape of the area watered. How cool is that? Not only can you change the shape of the area watered but also spread the water in a 360 degree rotational pattern or restrict the area to smaller than 360 degrees. This sprinkler cuts down on water waste and allows you to target the plantings and areas that you aim to water. It also cuts down on watering time, which is always a good thing when considering water conservation or restrictions. I should also add that it makes a perfect solution for watering the garden near the chicken coop without getting the coop or chickens wet.
Benefits of Proper Fall Watering
Fall watering decreases winter stress on plants, increases plant survival, and allows for healthier over-wintering. Come spring, you will notice more abundant foliage and better fruit and flower production. Fall is also the best time to pay attention to your lawn. Fall watering gets newly re-seeded, patched and new lawns off to a healthy start prior to going dormant.
At the end of the watering season, be sure to bring all of your hoses, sprinklers and nozzles inside to avoid freezing, winter damage and extend the lifetime of your garden products. Properly stowed, soon enough they will be ready to be put to work for your spring and summer garden needs.
This post showcases Gilmour Garden Watering Products that were provided to me. The opinions I shared in this article are all my own. For more information on these garden products, please visit Gilmour.