It is the dead of winter now and while we haven't had much snow here at Wild Horse the little bit we have had has been good cover. For the most part it laid down pretty well and provided decent protection for the greens. Also the mild December without many real cold overnight lows has kept the turf a bit green and looking good for the end of the calendar year.
We have started a new process this year to try to avoid the calamity of winterkill we experienced last year. It is SNOWMAKING!!
|Snowmaking on #2 Green|
We are very new to this process and are learning as we go about what kind of conditions are necessary to make good snow, the equipment necessary to do it, and other little things that can complicate a relatively simple process if all goes well. We have not done much snowmaking this year because the first half of December was too mild even at night to do much. Since then we have had some snowcover provided by Mother Nature, but are starting to lose that now and will probably try to get some snow laid down in the next couple of weeks.
So why make snow? Because it seems we never get much snow anymore!! Even this year when many places north and west and also east have received snowfall we have been mostly left out. And we know from experience that snow is the best insulator against cold temperatures and also provides moisture when it melts. So we thought what better way to "cover" greens than with snow rather than expensive, labor intensive greens covers. Will this guarantee survival? No there are no guarantees in the natural world but we think it will really help our grass survive in most cases and also come out with more vigor in the spring.
So we are still in the learning process with this new tool but we think it definitely has potential.