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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Mar 15, 2009.
I haven't taken a picture yet. Spring is here. Hopefully, I will get a picture tomorrow.
Sounds like an article I just read in another thread.
To me, snow in that circumstance would have acted as an insulator... might be because the microbes froze without the snow covering...
again i said might.
I've been SCREAMING "might" since before the event. They insisted on shoveling more greens later. It seemed a waste of labor and bad for me agronomically, not to wait until things started to melt. They skinned greens down to the crowns in places with the edge of the shovels, etc. The first app of molasses and ammonium sulfate with green indicator dye made all the "scuff" marks glow almost a neon. Really made the damage seem pronounced. Most of that has recovered already. We are getting grass off of them. Not as much as I would really like, but they are growing. I am pretty sure, with 70+degree days all this week, that we will still aerate, starting Monday.
Now, pictures of the poor turf. I took a plug off it after taking the pictures. Very little green in the plug. You have to look for it in the crowns, BUT the crowns and roots seem to be alive. I *think* it may come out of it. Doubting now that it was the molasses.
I often wondered if it was true in other parts of the world. When there is a 'cold front' approaching us it is usually preceded with some form of precipitation. If the High Pressure is dry then we have a buffer for the soil to protect it from 'Dry'.
If the High Pressure goes below 0 degrees F. it is usually preceded by some form of precipitation. Normally it is like you say - an insulating layer. Otherwise we would have frost 11' into the ground, every year.
I have been 'blowdrying' my smaller lawns as I clean them up. When I do they dry up and thaw out more quickly. When the next snow comes - it will soak into the ground as it 'warms up' again. Meanwhile, other uncared for spot will continue to puddle and wash when it warms up.
I'm with bicm., "Don't shovel snow off the grass."
That does bring up another question: What about the ice?
Does spring time ice suffocate grass, when the grass should still be dormant? [we are about 4" thick of ice under the snow piles.]
For greens, the point where the ice becomes an issue depends on the variety. Many northern courses are overrun with poa annua and poa trivialis as a weed in the putting surface. This weed has become so prolific and adapted to the HOC on putting surfaces that many have opted to manage the weed. Poa will begin to desiccate if under ice for around 45 days. Bentgrass will reliably survive for around 60 days. In areas where the ice would never last that long (like my situation here), instead of using covers to protect from dry, frigid conditions, it is not uncommon to "ice" greens prior to a cold front moving in. This is one of my least favorite tasks. Getting wet when the temperatures are at or near freezing is just not fun, BUT the ice will insulate the ground from the dessication that will occur when temperatures and wind chills plummet.
Almost forgot, if the ice becomes a prolonged thing and your worried about it, any dark substance like Milorganite or similar bio-solid will melt through the ice to allow air exchange to begin again. Black sand or cinders work as well, but might be more messy. Synthetic ferts are NOT recommended. They dissolve and run to central spots and will then burn the turf.