As we approach Thanksgiving it is a good time to start thinking about your winter fertilizer program. In past blogs I talked about getting down a few fertilizer applications prior to the first frost of the year. In general we will receive our first frost sometime between Thanksgiving and the first week of December. The first couple of frosts are usually pretty mild, but as we get deeper into December we will get some hard freezes which will start to affect your roots. Once we get frost all the way down to the roots it makes it tougher for the plant to take up fertilizer so foliar applications generally provide the best response.

For those unfamiliar with why plants freeze let me provide you with a simplistic definition.  Water vapor condenses into liquid water and forms ice as the temperature drops at or below 32 degrees. Temperatures on the ground are typically cooler than the air just a few feet above the ground surface. On a clear, calm night with no little wind the cold air sinks to the ground level and while the thermometer may not read 32 degrees or lower, the ground temperature is below freezing. You will notice that when there is a heavy cloud cover there is typically no frost. This is because the grass does not need to emit as much radiation because the clouds reflect the radiated heat. On a cloudy day dew will form on the ground making it very unlikely that frost will form on the ground.


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