We've had a lot of cold weather here in southeast Michigan this winter and now it looks like we're getting poised for a considerable snowfall here in the next day or so. The heavy snow we can do without I think but the extreme cold is another story.
For the last few years we have been experiencing severe drought in this part of the country, and for many reasons. One of those reasons is because we haven't experienced a sustained period of freezing temperatures...enough to freeze all of the Great Lakes; Michigan, Huron, Superior, Erie and Ontario, all the way across at the same time. It's been a while since that's happened. When the lakes freeze over they don't experience a high amount of condensation. When they are open...we loose water. It's science. Nothing we can do about that...it's mother natures call.
Extreme cold in our region is good because it kills, or at least slows down the bug population to a more manageable level. And in some cases, kills or at least slows down disease that are in the soil. What we need is for the perma-frost line to run deep...six inches or better...every once in a while eight would be REALLY good. That would be especially helpful with things like grubs (Japanese Beatles) and mosquitoes. And here's a tip for you folks who have grubs in your lawn. What you need to do is build up your root system in the lawn so that it's 3 to 4 inches thick...and you don't do that by dumping a ton of nitrogen rich fertilizers on your lawn! Nitrogen is good for greening up your lawn...not the root system. You need phosphorus rich fertilizer...phosphorus, or potash, is the third number on the fertilizer bag. One of the best fertilizers out there is Milorganite. It's good for everything that grows and you can find it just about anywhere AND it won't contaminate ground water and wells. Milorganite...you can find it on the internet.
What ever it is you do...STOP SPRAYING BUD DOPE BY THE METRIC TON...IT'S POISON!!! THAT'S WHY IT KILLS BUGS!!! Remember what your mom taught you? All things in MODERATION? Remember? And while we're at it...if you spray...whatever it is you spray is most likely to be toxic to humans and pets and other living things...There are a few simple directions: Follow the manufactures instructions, check which way the wind is blowing (you want to be downwind.), ware a hat, long sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes (rubber is best) and socks, glasses or at least goggles, a respirator or mask and gloves. Remember...prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals will KILL you...that's why they are labeled "TOXIC" !
A quick story. I grew up in a subdivision on the outskirts of the thriving metropolis of Mt. Clemens, Michigan. During that time we had two dogs. We used to walk our dogs down at the end of the sub next to a farmers cornfield...which he sprayed with copious amounts of chemicals and fertilized heavily. Both dogs died of cancer! You folks who have lawn services who come spray your yards might want to be mindful of that.
So you see...the cold of winter can be very helpful to those of us who live in the Great Lakes region. Just do us all a favor...be mindful of what you put into the ground...again...there is a reason why these chemicals are marked "TOXIC". It's kind of like exposing the human body to chemotherapy and radiation hoping to kill the cancer and not the person...but that's for another time.