Winter Watering: Lawns can be affected by winter desiccation; this occurs when snow cover is not maintained during the winter and most commonly in heavy clay, compacted soils. Winter watering can minimize the effects of dry conditions. Check the forecast, water only when the soil is not frozen and air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Do not water before a sudden temperature drop is forecasted since this can cause plants or the lawn to die. Apply water at mid-day so it can percolate down into the soil before colder nighttime temperatures and potential freezing. Try to moisten the top 6 inches of soil for turf grasses, and 12 inches for watering trees and shrubs. Do not use root feeders or other deep root watering devices in the winter. Water slowly so it can soak in rather than run off or freeze. If dry conditions persist, one or two careful irrigations per month may be needed.