Soil and water

Take advantage of the good weather and water the trees and shrubs

The good weather expected throughout the weekend will be the perfect opportunity to check your trees and shrubs to see if they need watering.

“Because we haven’t had a lot of natural rainfall, it’s really important to make sure the roots are moist before winter, especially newly planted trees and shrubs,” said John Fech of the extension. of Nebraska in Douglas-Sarpy counties. . “It’s quite likely that the roots are dry at this point.”

Temperatures are expected to be around 50 degrees through Monday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist David Eastlack.

He said since Jan. 1, Omaha has been 8.86 inches below its normal rainfall. There is a slight chance of rain early on Thanksgiving Day for southeastern Nebraska.

Although the area has been so dry, Fech said to use a screwdriver to probe the soil around the roots of trees, plants and shrubs to see if they need water.

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“When you pull the screwdriver out, you hope to feel cool and wet and not dry and muddy,” Fech said.

If the ground needs watering, Fech said a soaker hose is the best choice instead of turning on the irrigation system. Let the water run for about an hour, then recheck with the screwdriver.

After watering, apply 2 inches of wood chips to the roots to retain moisture over winter.

The soil temperature is around 39 degrees right now, so Fech said you can water even if the air temperature hits 30 degrees.

“If the roots are dry at the start of winter, they probably won’t be able to support the plant in the spring when they start to need water to produce growth,” he said.

Fech said making sure to remove the hose from the outside water faucet after watering to avoid damaging the plumbing.

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