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Home » Information » How Do I Know if the Ground Is Frozen?

How Do I Know if the Ground Is Frozen?

How do I know if the ground is frozen?

Cold air temperatures and winter weather are on the way, and checking if the ground is frozen is an important part of a healthy garden. Sometimes it’s just part of making it from one end of your driveway to the next without slipping and falling. So, how do you know for sure if the ground is frozen?

How Do I Know if the Ground Is Frozen?

Sometimes, contractors might need to check if the ground is frozen before they proceed with a specific landscaping job. The same is true for anyone who works in the garden.

Here’s how to check the temperature, and why it matters to check the state of the ground before any attempts to dig further down.

Why check if the ground is frozen?

Frozen ground happens often in winter and snowy weather. The ground freezes and thaws every year but it’s not always ideal for gardeners. Snow and ice can make things complicated. It might mean that you have to proceed differently until the ground thaws.

Seasonally frozen ground temperatures don’t make a good planting companion. Once you know if the ground is frozen or not, you can figure out a better way to proceed. But you’ve got to check first!

DON’T use your weight

Never use your weight to check if the ground is frozen. This can be dangerous and you might slip and fall or walk away with an injury.

The full extent of the surface is never apparent to the naked eye, and you should never gamble your full weight on it.

DON’T walk without being sure

Don’t walk over potentially frozen ground without being sure. Frozen soil could mean that you are more likely to slip, loose soils like sand have more space for water and you can’t always see what you’re stepping on. Don’t guess where your next foot is going to end up.

Unless you want to lose your footing, you want to be sure exactly what you’re going to step on next.

Check the surface

The first thing that you want to do is check the surface. The frozen ground will be colder to the touch, even if the surface temperature of the soil doesn’t feel like much – and where iced over, the ground will tend to feel more solid and compacted.

Water turning into ice might also be present on the surface, usually as a result of condensation from what’s frozen around it.

Dig up some soil

If you can’t tell what’s going on from the top surface of the ground, you might want to try digging up some surface soil next. Use a shovel or sturdy rock, and unturn some soil from where you are. Choose a central point to stand so that you don’t lose your footing while checking.

Scratch away the first layer of bare ground, and you should be able to tell what’s going on underneath. Frozen or not?

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