Many turf professionals recognize that snow cover is Mother Nature’s soil blanket.  Snow cover will insulate the soil.  So, I decided to illustrate this fact this afternoon.
The location is Indianapolis, IN.  To better understand the insulation properties of snow cover, let me set the scene of the weather conditions:
Air temp: -12 degrees
Wind chill: -40 degrees
Snow cover: 11 inches (see photo below)
To better understand the previous weather conditions, click HERE for January to date weather and HERE for Dec 2013 weather history.
So, with the air temp at -12 degrees, what do you think the soil temp is at 4 inches?
There is nothing in life that is certain, except death and taxes, but I believe that this snow cover may very well protect the bermudagrass in this area from extensive winter damage.  After all, the weather we are experiencing is some of the coldest weather in the over 52,000 days of weather data recording in Indianapolis.  In fact, today was the second coldest high temp EVER recorded in Indianapolis, but the soil temp at 4 inches is well above freezing.
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–Play on!

SportsField Management