Winter weather has drawbacks, benefits

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Grand Valley was hit with another dose of winter weather this week, adding a little more than five inches to the already snowy ground.

This can be a benefit to your lawn come springtime, but experts say that’s only if you were prepared.

For the Grand Valley, winter came early when more than nine inches of snow fell in early December. Combined with a few other storms, the season total is just a little less than two feet, but as much as you might hate it, the snow has benefits.

Mona Dyer with Bookcliff Gardens says, “Because we do live in a dry climate, plants can suffer some pretty serious drought conditions during the winter.”

So any kind of precipitation is welcome for your lawn, whether it’s rain or snow and this latest round of snow is even more beneficial than the last one.

Jim Daniels of the National Weather Service says, “This snow had higher water content.”

A higher water content means a wetter, heavier snow which will gradually soak even more water into the ground as temperatures slowly creep above freezing.

Dyer says, “A funny thing about plants root systems is that they can tolerate wet and frozen, not dry and frozen.”

But if you were like many and caught off guard by the frigid temperatures, you can run into some problems this spring.

AAA Lawn Care Owner Shane Allerheiligen says, “We expect that a lot of people didn't have the time to get their sprinklers blown out so there will be a lot of breakage.”

The early December storm also surprised some who didn’t have time to rake up the leaves that were covering their lawns. The longer those leaves sit, the worse your lawn will be after the thaw. “Soon as the snow melts we want to try to get those up so that the fungus that's growing underneath there does not kill the grass,” Allerheiligen says.

And even though it was warm enough Thursday to melt most the snow off the roads, this new snow cover will cause temperatures to drop down below normal. Daniels says, “We'll see the Inversion strengthen over the next couple of days as a high pressure ridge moves over.”

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