Why You Need To Irrigate In Fall

September is here. Summer is nearly gone. Wipe away that sad face. Your gardens are not quite done yet for the year and they still need watering! Some of your plants and shrubs may be done flowering, but there are a variety of fall-blooming plants that will need water. If the fall rains fall short, don't neglect your trees and shrubs trying to get ready for winter.

Spring and summer is when plants focus on new growth and flowering (generally), but fall is when they get to serious business of surviving winter. Plants will focus on growing deep strong roots and they'll need adequate water to do that. Fall is known for its cooler temperatures and higher rainfall, but it can be an unpredictable season. Keep an eye on the weather. If there hasn't been rain for the last 10 - 14 days, go ahead and water.

You may have already winterized your inground sprinkler system, but these smaller watering jobs are easily done by hand in the interim. With the increased rainfall usually seen in fall, you may not need to water. However, if we get an especially warm fall the extra moisture may be the difference between new plants that survive winter and those that don't.

New Plantings

Any new perennials plantings you've added this spring or summer will benefit from extra water in the fall to ensure they don't enter the winter season stressed at all. Winter kill is no fun, so a little extra effort now might stave off that worst-case scenario on that plant you enjoyed all summer. Take advantage of the extra few weeks of growing season left in fall to help your plants have strong roots.


Evergreens or conifers are those trees and shrubs that stay green all winter long. These plants stay green all winter, but they can't take in moisture when the ground (and the water in the soil) is frozen. New plantings of yew and hemlock are especially vulnerable to winter damage and would benefit from some extra waterings in the fall. Other plants that are often susceptible to winter kill as new plantings are boxwoods, holly, and rhododendrons.

You don't want to water straight through until the ground freezes though. You don't want to spur new growth, you simply want to help prepare the trees and shrubs for winter. When the leaves fall off the deciduous trees, it's a good time to stop watering the evergreens. The idea is to help the evergreens enter a transitional phase to prevent new exterior growth. You want the plant to focus on growing roots not new shoots and branches.


If you haven't yet added mulch around your trees and shrubs, let us try one more time this season to convince you. Mulch is great for preventing weeds, but it also helps your plants survive winter easier. Mulch provides great insulation against the cold and snow, and it can keep more moisture in the soil so the roots can take advantage of the extra water before it evaporates.

If you're looking for expert help to create the landscape for your home or business that you've always wanted or to winterize your inground irrigation system, give Nutri-Lawn Burlington Inground Sprinkler Systems a call. Take the guess work out of residential and commercial irrigation.Contact us today for your complimentary quote.