Here we are past the middle of April, and as was the case a couple years ago, we’re hurting for water on our landscape. As much as I hate to suggest people start to water this early, failure to do so will set the garden back quite a bit. This is a critical point in the gardening year for perennials. They have energy stored in their roots, and they’re using that energy to start growth up for
this year. As they start that growth, if they’re starved for water, many of them will go into a defensive mode and shut down expansion and growth. So, grab the hose and spend some time getting water on those gardens. I see that some folks have been turning sprinklers on already, which is fine so long as you remember the risk of freezing pipes. When the temperature is going to drop down below freezing, those lines need to be shut off and protected. When I start my sprinklers early, I set them to run a cycle early in the morning – about an hour before sunrise and about an hour after. Just a short cycle to get water moving in the lines and avoid freezing. Of course, if it’s going to get well below freezing, I shut the system back down. I also wrap an insulating protection around the backflow preventer assembly, and all the pipes that are above ground, just to be extra safe – broken sprinkler lines are something to avoid!