Snow brings needed moisture, not enough

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

This Sunday is the time to �spring forward,� but a light snow shower on Thursday seemed to be a �spring back� to winter, bringing with it a small amount of much needed moisture.
Roosevelt County residents woke to snowfall which was enough to cover the grass, but not quite enough to make a difference in spring planting, which is just around the corner, according to Curt Jaynes, owner of GardenSource Nursery & Landscaping.
�Obviously, the more snow we get, the better, but this latest snow we got didn�t even scratch the surface of what we need because we�ve had a dry season,� Jaynes said. �It was a nice wet snow, so that�s good. We welcome it anytime. But obviously, the more the better.�
Spring does not officially begin until March 20, but with weekend weather forecasts calling for sunny skies on Saturday, this latest snowfall caught some residents by surprise.
Roosevelt County Agricultural Extension Agent, Patrick Kircher, said that even for crops such as wheat, which are dry climate tolerable plants, the lack of moisture this winter has put many farmers in a tight bind. �We need a substantial amount of water to help us get going here,� he said. �With the snow we got, I don�t imagine it amounted to a couple of tenths of water. It takes a foot of snow to get an inch of rain. If we could get a couple of inches of precipitation in the next couple of months, that sure would help things out.�
Kircher said some folks begin planting spring oats about this time of year while others are getting the ground prepared for spring corn and milo planting.
�The catch is that we are so dry that you don�t want to do a lot of ground work and get the ground too lose or it will blow bad,� Kircher said. �We need to do field work for spring, but we also need to hold off for a second, until we get more moisture.�
With the dry conditions, Jaynes said that as people prepare to start watering their lawns around mid-March, following a very dry winter, they should deep water trees and shrubs, but deep water less often. He added, �Since we�ve had no moisture, people should have been watering their lawns about once a month during the winter.�