Why It’s Important to Maintain Property Irrigation During the Winter Months

winter irrigation

As we get ready for another taste of winter weather, the memories of the incredibly severe 2021 winter storm that left multitudes in the dark and in freezing conditions are still fresh in our minds. While we don’t anticipate such a grave situation this winter season, there are many things we can’t afford to ignore in case extreme weather conditions sweep through the state again.

Colder temperatures signal the time to winterize your lawn and garden. Regardless of the season, your landscape is a reflection of your business and should always be well-maintained. This way, you’ll have a healthy and beautiful spring landscape, ensuring top property value.

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Irrigation System Running During Winter

Texas winters get a mixture of warm and dry weather and cold and wet weather, especially in December and January. This causes some plants to come out of their state of dormancy, which requires them to receive water. Moisture must be maintained in the soil, so it’s always important to keep irrigation systems running at least minimally during winter. 

Shutting down an irrigation system in winter can have many adverse effects that can be expensive in the long run. If there is clay in the soil, as there is in many parts of the state, the periods of dryness cause the clay to condense, which can negatively affect your property’s foundation. Repairing this is much more expensive than any damage caused by cold to the irrigation system. 

The other reason is that the flowers could die from lack of water and are more prone to freezing during extremely low temperatures if you turn off the irrigation system. Winter watering in North Texas depends on the type of seeds you have planted. Winter flowers such as pansies, kale, snapdragons, and ryegrass require watering to stay fresh and in bloom. Dormant plants like turf and shrubs only need occasional watering. 

Know When to Shut Off Your Irrigation System

In the event of an emergency like the previously mentioned storm of 2021 or any hard freeze, it may become necessary to shut off the irrigation system. Freezing temperatures can make your yard resemble an ice rink, so it’s best to prepare just in case. Despite having rain and freeze sensors, the electronic sensors on irrigation systems are prone to failure and should not be relied on. 

Switching your controller to the OFF position does not guarantee that irrigation will stop running during a freeze event. The supply valves (Double Checks) on your irrigation must be closed to cut off the water source. If you’ve never done this before or don’t know where the valves are located, we can help. EarthWorks can send our reps to your property and instruct you and your maintenance staff on this very simple process.

It is extremely important to remember to turn the valve back ON after a storm event has passed. For this reason, we ask that you email us any time you close a valve on your system. This way, we can guarantee that your Earthworks rep will check the valve during their next visit to your property and ensure that it has been returned to the open position.

Tips for Protecting Your Plants, Trees, and Irrigation System from Freezing Weather

Cutting back perennials

Trimming perennials such as sages, salvias, and ornamental grasses in the fall keeps flower beds looking neat through winter and removes spent foliage spurring new growth the following season.

Raise or Lift the Tree Canopies

This is an excellent time to prune hanging limbs that may pose a hazard or cause damage to structures if burdened by heavy ice or snow build-up.

Weed Control application

Spring weeds start growing in winter, so a pre-emergent and weed control application will manage the existing weeds and the tough-to-manage broadleaf weeds that sprout in spring.

Further, covering the basics of fertilization, aeration, top dressing, and watering will maintain your lawn’s health through winter.

EarthWorks Can Help

The best way to ensure that your lawns and irrigation systems stay in the absolute best shape, no matter what the seasons bring, is to partner with a trusted lawn care expert that can get the job done correctly. 

We have helped multiple commercial property owners stay on top of their irrigation system, and landscape needs with essential winter lawn care services that keep lawns well-nourished. 

We’ll assess your property to learn more about your landscaping needs and develop a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you. With freezing temperatures right around the corner, now is the time to schedule a professional winter irrigation service with EarthWorks. Contact us today!


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