|In the foreground you can see the head that incurred the stuck valve. The result was a miniature ice floe that was nearly an inch think in some areas.|
|The warm air from a blower helped speed up the thawing process.|
Staff stole an idea from the grape and citrus growers in the area to help thaw the ice. During frost periods vineyards often use windmills at low revolutions to keep the frost from setting on their crops. This wind movement keeps the plants dry with the moving air and thus the frost is prevented. Some farmers use helicopters once the frost has set on crops as the rotors move the sun heated air down onto the frost or ice covered crops below. This method worked well in our case as the warm air from our blower melted the ice and little damage incurred because of quick action. If the ice were to remain on the turf for more than 12 hours it may have suffocated as the leaves would not have been able to breathe. In areas that receive significant snowfall, the snow actually helps the turf retain its moisture and dessication is rarely an issue because the snow is porous until ambient air temperatures become warm enough that melting begins. At this point the snow must be carefully removed with snow blowers and shovels.
We have been busy lately so stay tuned over the next few weeks as we update you about our fencing project at Morro Bay, a stream bed project with the CCC's, some great wildlife photos, a perplexing irrigation problem, and a discussion about dormant turf!