The calendar struck February over last weekend. And, the major league baseball teams report to spring training next week. Surely, spring and warm weather are just around the corner.
Well, yes and no. And the topic of today’s column is just this: Let’s not wish away winter before it’s time. Because as annoying as the cold and snow are, they actually portend good things for your lawn.
Particularly where snow is concerned, it replaces valuable ground water that’s lost during the hot, dry months of summer…those months in July and August where your lawn may turn brown and simply go away. And when it’s not raining in summer, the only source for moisture remaining is that collected during the winter months, far beneath the surface of your lawn and its root system. Again, it makes proper aerating and nutrition all the more important because regular attention to both helps roots and ground water get together during drought conditions.
Second, a good snow cover serves as valuable insulation to lawns that were seeded, or reseeded, in the past year. Even established lawns benefit from the blanket of snow that serves to protect from harsh winter temperatures…and wind. Yes, winter wind is very tough on exposed turf and the top three inches of ground surface. Believe it or not, it actually contributes to drought conditions carried over from a dry summer and fall. That blanket of snow that you’re tired of is doing you a favor. Specifically, it’s doing your lawn a favor.
It’s fine to dream of spring, but don’t wish too hard, OK? Snow is good, and think of it that way the next time you turn on your electric blanket for a cold winter night. That’s exactly what’s going on outside.