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Snow And Ice Melt Helping Soil Recover From 2023 Drought

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Snow And Ice Melt Helping Soil Recover From 2023 Drought

Putnam County UT Agriculture Extension Agent Wayne Key said the melting snow and ice will help the soil recover from last year’s drought.

As 2023 came to a close the Upper Cumberland and over half the state stood in a severe drought. Key said with the snow and ice melting, the soil can get back to normal moisture levels for this time of year.

“Oh, that’d been awesome if we’d a had half an inch over the next month every week,” Key said. “The four inches or whatever, had it spread out, it would have made it a little more available to plants and to our garden and our landscapes if it could have come slowly, so it can slowly absorb.”

In fact, the area could see several inches of rain over the next several days. Key said the only minor concern is excessive moisture in the soil. He said this would cause runoff and possible flooding.

“When the lawn gets to that high capacity of water, when it gets completely holding all the water it can, then you get no water absorption into the soil, so it has to run off,” Key said. “It has to go somewhere, so it doesn’t absorb in the ground. That’s when you see water puddling or ponding in the yard or the landscape.”

Still while he could hope that the region did not receive so much precipitation all at once, Key said the impact will be good news for spring gardeners.

“This is going to help our trees, our landscapes for example and our lawns have plenty of moisture there to regrow and reestablish once we get in to those warm periods and when plants come out of dormancy,” Key said. “We have plenty of moisture there for them.”

Key said to address areas where you see water runoff before spring. He said this will keep the nutrients in the soil in that area.

“If you got places the water will erode and continue to erode,” Key said. “Those types of places should be addressed now going into spring. You can do some seeding this spring, some landscaping. Do something to prevent water erosion in those places not covered with vegetation.”


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