Caring for your lawn during dry winter weather

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Updated: 1/27/2014 11:45 pm

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) --From freezing cold to spring like temperatures in June, the weather in northern Nevada can be a little tricky. Especially when it comes to watering your lawn and trees.

You might think that brown lawns and dying trees are a fixture here in the high desert, but they need tending during the winter.

“In the case of how it is right now, when it hasn't precipitated at all in a significant period of time, people are going out and watering--as they should. They should do so once every three or 4 weeks until it does rain or snow.”

Jon Bryun, the resident plant doctor at the Moana Nursery, says that even in the middle of winter, it’s important to water your lawn and trees, at least every 2-3 weeks when it doesn’t rain or snow.

“Watering the lawn is a requirement of living in the high desert where we don't get rain for six or eight weeks. They're doing their part to provide those trees with some water during the winter months here when we don't get precipitation.”

If you don’t have a green thumb, Jon says to follow this rule simple rule, “The general rule of thumb, it's an old wives tail type of thing but it works is on inch per month of rain or a foot of snow. Something like that or over is to the benefit of the plants. Under that they are thirsty.”

If you don’t feel like hand watering and are considering turning on your sprinkler Bryun says be sure to call a professional, “That is something we recommend only an expert is involved in because they have to turn it on, then drain it by 3 p.m., or it's going to freeze. And if they don't call an expert, then they're going to have a huge repair bill to face.”

Bill Hauck of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority says that it’s clear to them that people are tired of seeing their lawns and trees perish during these long dry spells, “We have seen an increase in water use, about 5 percent over the last couple weeks. We recognize people are hand watering trees and shrubs right now as it's been a rather dry winter.”

In the meantime, he hopes Mother Nature comes in and helps out, saying that, “When it starts raining or snowing we can relax.”

If you’re thinking about planting this time of year, Jon says to hold that thought, it’s a little too early in the season, “We've had some calls from people wanting to put flowers in front of their house and they're not going to happen. There are very few flowers that will survive twenty degree nights.”

During winter dry spells, it’s important to focus on watering trees first and foremost, then your lawn.

For more information about tending to your yard, garden and outdoor space, you can stop by the Moana Nursery or visit their Website:

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Kramer - 1/28/2014 12:26 PM
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now if TMWA would really address the water-wasting that goes on and on around here. the same locations, the same commercial areas, and often when TMWA personnel aren't "active". Tired of the same dumb waste, year after year.

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