Winter Garden Challenges and How a Good Irrigation System Can Help
While Auckland winters are temperate, the occasional frost, short sunlight hours and abundance of rain can really shift the outdoor environment and affect your garden. Here are some common winter garden challenges that New Zealanders face and how proper irrigation techniques from Aqualight can help your garden survive winter so it can thrive in spring.
The further south you go in NZ, the more frosts you can expect, but even Aucklanders can expect a few good frosts each year. The damage is done when the plant temperature drops below zero and creates ice crystals as welel as by a sudden change of temperature – a swift frost, followed by a quick thaw.
One of the best things to do to protect vulnerable plants is to keep them in the shade so that they don’t thaw out too quickly once the frost subsides. Irrigation systems are also very helpful in combating frosts because wet, humid soil stays warmer and conducts heat, protecting plants from getting too cold. Sprinkler irrigation systems such as micro sprayers and fixed sprinkler systems are popular and proven frost-fighting solutions.
If it’s been a particularly wet Auckland winter, you may find that your lawns or gardens become saturated with water pooling and flooding your plants. This can stunt plant growth, kill plant roots and discolour foliage.
In times of abundant rain, give your irrigation system a rest until the wet weather has passed. Avoid walking in your wet, muddy garden and, if you’re worried, lay mulch down to protect the plants. Rain sensors are worth their weight in gold when it comes to winter gardening, ensuring that your irrigation systems are switched off during times of heavy rain.
With little sunshine, slow plant growth over winter is a fact of life. Instead of swimming against the tide, take advantage of this season by preparing for the seasons of growth to come. Winter is a great time of year to prepare your soil for spring, plant trees and plan and install efficient irrigation systems for dryer months.
This slow growth season is also prime time to take a look at your existing irrigation systems. Winter’s cold, wet weather can lead to leaks and other issues with your irrigation system, making this season the best time for your annual irrigation maintenance check and upgrade.
Don’t close your curtains and ignore your gardens this winter: continue to care for your yard with a little help from the irrigation experts at Auckland’s Aqualight Irrigation.