November 26, 2012

Just Enough Of A Blanket

We received just enough snow over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to put a thin blanket out on the golf course.  I would say on average there is about about 2", although it was pretty low density snow and the strong winds that we had Thanksgiving night (gusts over 50mph) moved it around quite a bit.

This was just in time as we are now getting close to December, meaning we are going to start getting some pretty low temperatures heading our way.  This morning we experienced the first blast of truly cold air, dropping the mercury just a touch below 0 for the first time this season.  With so much Poa Annua on the course, it is vital to have some sort of insulation on the ground to protect these delicate plants from such cold temperatures.  Poa is a very weak plant, and will literally freeze to death if exposed to too many cold nights for too long of a period.  We experienced this badly last fall, enduring the entire month of December with no snowcover and multiple nights dipping down into the teens below 0....lots of dead grass in the spring.

For illustrative purposes, I went out this morning with my soil thermometer to take some temperatures on the surface of 16 green, underneath about 2" of snow.

A tropical -1 this morning, at least the sun was shining....

Underneath 2" of snow, a much more reasonable 22 degrees.

This is a pretty dramatic difference.  Imagine if you had to spend the night outside.  A 22 degree night would be much easier to survive than a night that dipped below 0.

A little more snow would definitely help the situation that much more, but at this point we definitely in much better shape than we were last year at this time...

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