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 during the frigid temperatures last Tuesday.

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)

So, with the air temp at -12 degrees, what do you think the soil temp is at 4 inches?

Existing conditions:

Snow depth:

Hole dug to expose existing turf cover – this is a native soil application:

Soil temp at a 4 inch depth:

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 have experienced last week was some of the coldest weather in the over 52,000 days of weather data recording in Indianapolis. In fact, Tuesday was the second coldest high temp EVER recorded in Indianapolis, but the soil temp at 4 inches is well above freezing.

Play on!