Turf & Rec

Features Profiles
Spring is on the way ….at least we hope so


March 10, 2014
By Mike Jiggens


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This March issue, in name at least, is meant to be our “getting ready for spring” issue. One look out the window, however, or a quick step outside and you’d be convinced there’s no immediate end in sight to winter.

As I write this, it’s the beginning of March—a time when temperatures are usually beginning to rise somewhat to help kick start the ground thaw necessary to drain a gradual melting of snow cover.

Unfortunately, here in southern Ontario (and I suspect in most places across Canada) temperatures are still well below the norm. In fact, the 14-day trend checked at the outset of the month suggests temperatures in this neck of the woods will barely be knocking on the door of zero degrees Celsius right through to the middle of March.

Most Canadians will agree it’s been an absolutely ghastly winter season. Perhaps this is the price we are expected to pay for the non-winter we had two years ago that was followed by summer’s arrival in mid-March.

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If this trend continues, and there’s every reason to believe it will, the start of the golf season will probably be delayed by at least a couple of weeks in most parts of the country. There’s nothing anyone can do to help speed up the process, and so we wait.

In the issue, guest writer David McPherson talks with a number of golf superintendents about this winter season and what they may expect in the spring. Most have faced seasons similar to this in the past, and they have enough experience to know there’s no need to panic. Some have taken a few preliminary measures to aid with snow melt, but largely they will take things one day at a time.

While in Vancouver in late February for the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show, I managed to get a round of golf played on a balmy nine-degree day in sunny Tsawwassen. Chances are it might be the final round I play until the latter part of April, but it was a nice respite from the weather I left at home. Interestingly, on the day I left to return home to southern Ontario, snow hit the lower mainland area of British Columbia and lingered for a good week. Even that area, which rarely sees much in the way of snow, could not escape Mother Nature’s wrath.

I sincerely hope that by the time I’m putting our April/May issue together that there’s not a single flake of snow to be found anywhere and temperatures are consistently coming in in double digits…on the plus side.

On the positive side, the worst is over and seemingly there’s some light to be found at the end of the tunnel. I can’t see it yet, but I know it’s there. It’s just that it’s a very long tunnel this year.