|Data Loggers are located on greens 6, 7 and 12|
So today, out of curiosity and the fact that we have a Grounds Committee meeting this week, I wanted to look at the information and see where we stand at this point in the season. After gathering this information for the past 6 years, one thing we have found to be very consistent, once the ground freezes and we have snow cover, no matter the warming of the air temperature, the soil has yet to get above 32 degrees until the snow is completely gone and the frost comes out of the ground. Additionally once we have snow cover the fluctuation in soil temperatures is very minimal no matter how cold we get and no matter how warm it gets.
It appears from the information gathered today, the above information continues to hold true. This year we installed the covers on November 10th, the following day we had 8" of snow. The ground never really froze. We do not have a deep frost this year. Since the soil temperatures were unable to freeze before the snow event, the snow has insulated the ground very well. Interestingly the soil temperature under the covers has been consistently at 30.6 degrees and 31.4 degrees for the past 3 months.
The coldest recorded air temperature was on January 21st, at -26.8 degrees. Due to the insulation of the covers and the snow, soil temperatures remained at 31.4 degrees. Then on February 13th we were having our mid-winter thaw, air temperatures reached a high of 49.6 degrees. Soil temperatures remained at 30.6 degrees.
Past history has shown us that temperatures that remain steady and below freezing, our fine turf areas have emerged from winter in great condition. What will happen this year has yet to be seen, we have a lot of snow remaining and a good 4-6 week to go before we will have a good answer. But until that time, we know only what the data logger information is at this point. If anything was out of the ordinary, it would still remain out of our control. Now the question remains, what kind of damage might we see from snow mold?