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Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Minnesotans and Winter – Bring It!!!

Living in Minnesota means that you must embrace the snow and cold if you want to survive.  For us, putting on layer after layer is just part of the struggle we go through to make the most out of the limited sunlight we have in the winters, and trust me we soak up as much daylight as we can.

So what do Minnesotans do in the winter?  Here is a list of some of the things Minnesotans brave during the cold and snowy months of winter.

Super Bowl 52

It’s no secret that we love our Vikings here in Minnesota and that we have one of the newest, nicest football stadiums in the world!  With that being said, it is my prediction that our Minnesota Vikings will be the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, and to top it off we are going to win.

Although the Super Bowl isn’t held in Minnesota every year (because most out of state fans can’t handle the cold) we do enjoy our tailgating.  No matter what the temperature is outside, you will find parking lots full of tailgaters before each and every home football game.

Ice Castles

Whether you are heading to Stillwater, St. Paul or one of many other locations throughout Minnesota to see ice castles, you will be in for a treat.  Ice castles are tradition and nobody does it better than Minnesota.  I mean just take a look at the pictures below and try not to drool…

 

The 1992 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace on Harriet Island in St. Paul. (Pioneer Press: Richard Marshall)

Polar Plunge

Some call us crazy for willingly jumping into ice cold lakes in the middle of winter but we call it charity!  That’s right, if you see a polar plunge going down you are more than likely witnessing a charity event like no other. 

Pond Hockey

We didn’t become that state of hockey without thousands of hours clearing the lakes and ponds behind our houses just so we can play some hockey!  We are self taught and produce some of the toughest hockey players in the nation because we brave the cold, or maybe because its so cold out we never feel the bumps and bruises from checking each other on the ice!  Either way, there are thousands of pond hockey games going on throughout the state each and every day there is ice on the lakes.

Additionally, Minnesota is home to the US Pond Hockey Tournament.  That’s right, Fred Haberman a tough and true Minnesotan had a dream and made it reality.  So, if you think you have a good hockey team it better be out there on the pond when tournament time rolls around.

Holidazzle

From movies in the park to watching the Vikings beat up the Packers to fireworks and so much more, us Minnesotans enjoy these activities outdoors, in the cold!  If you haven’t experienced Holidazzle in Minnesota than you really don’t know what being a Minnesotan is all about!

5 Tips To Surviving Minneapolis Winters

5 Tips To Surviving Minneapolis Winters

5 Tips To Surviving Minneapolis Winters

Winter has arrived in Minneapolis again!  For some, the thoughts of the snow and cold bring anxiety while other having been waiting all year just for that first snow fall.  Whether you love or hate winters in Minneapolis, here are 5 tips that can help you survive the cold winter that is upon us!

Sign Up For Winter Alerts

If you haven’t done so already, you should add an app on your phone that alerts you when heavy snowfall or extreme cold is on its way.  The Weather Channels app is great at keeping you in the know so you can prepare for whatever the weather throws at you.

Additionally, the city of Minneapolis is awesome in providing alerts to your smart phone or email.  You can even follow the city of Minneapolis on Twitter if you prefer.  The city alerts provide you with parking instruction for snow emergencies.  These alerts can keep your car out of the impound lot saving you hundreds.

Proper Supplies

If you are new to the area and not use to the snow and cold, you will want to make sure you have the proper supplies in your vehicle just in case you get stuck or end up in the ditch.

The first item we suggest is an ice scraper with a brush on it.  Due to the heavy snowfalls we receive, the brush is a great way to brush the snow off your car windows while the scraper will scrape off the ice.

You will also want to keep a snow shovel in your car.  You never know when you may need to dig out from a snow plow burying you in your parking spot or simply getting stuck in the middle of the road due to heavy snowfall.  A shovel is also great in case that other person forgot to put one in their car and needs help digging out.

Finally, we also suggest extra coats and blankets in your car.  You never know when your car may break down and having extra coats and blankets can be the items that keep you from freezing.

Learn How To Drive In Snow & Ice

This is definitely an acquired skill. When your car is slipping on ice even the slowest, safest driver can lose control, but practice in these conditions helps a lot.

One imperative is to drive on snow tires, or at least tires that are not nearing bald. Check them at the beginning of the season. I’ve been driving up a SMALL (but icy) hill and slowed to a stop… before sliding backwards down because my tires couldn’t get any traction on the road. The same goes for snow, you want to spend as little time as possible digging yourself out– to this end it helps a lot of your tires can do some of the work.

The second most obvious (but admittedly hard to follow) tip is to make sure you can actually see before you drive. Yes, it sucks to sit in a below zero car waiting for the windows to defrost, but make sure you can clearly see everything before getting on the road. My favorite tip to make this easier is to heat a corn bag in the microwave while I’m getting ready and hold it in my car while I’m waiting for it to warm up/defrost in the morning. For this, I recommend the Origins Ginger Hug:

Finally, if you do start to fishtail or slip on an icy road, don’t freak out. Don’t keep trying to correct your cars steering–it won’t work. You should be keeping extra distance between you and other cars during this season. Whenever your tires do get a grip, they will move your vehicle in whichever direction they are faced, so overcorrecting the steering can run you off the road–or into traffic.

Ice Melting Washer Fluid

Now this washer fluid isn’t just the stuff that clears your windshield from dirt and smudge.  You want to make sure you get the stuff that will melt that ice that is an inch thick right of your windshield.  You will thank us for this one!

Dress For The Cold

Dressing for the cold in Minnesota requires long johns and wool socks!  It doesn’t matter if you plan to sit in    the office all day, get yourself a week’s worth of long johns and wool socks to ensure you stay warm even if the heater breaks down.

 

What Does A Snowless November Mean For Minneapolis Winter?

What Does A Snowless November Mean For Minneapolis Winter?

What Does A Snowless November Mean For Minneapolis Winter?

With just a few days left in November 2017 and a forecast of mid 40’s throughout the week, it is unlikely we will see any snowfall here in the Twin Cities before the end of the month.  With leaf cleanups being nearly done, we began to wonder how we are going to keep our staff busy, so we decided to do some research to see if we could get an idea of how busy we will be this winter.

According to DNR records, there has only been 4 years in recorded history where the Twin Cities has not seen at least 0.01 inches in snow before the end of November.  During those 4 years we saw a total snowfall for the year to average 45 inches with one year coming in with a meager  28.9 inches of snow.

So does no snowfall in November mean we are going to have little to no snow this year?  Well, believe it or not, the Twin Cities averages just 45.3 inches of snowfall on a year basis.  This data suggest that we are still on pace to reach our average snowfall this winter.

However, if you take a look at this chart from the DNR, it appears that no snowfall in November will likely produce more snowfall than most years where November received up to 3 inches of snowfall.  Heck, even years where November saw up to 11 inches of snowfall we ended up with more snowfall throughout the winters where no snow fell in November.

Farmer’s Almanac Prediction

Being unsatisfied with the research above, we decided to head over to the Farmer’s Almanac to see their predictions.

So far, the Farmer’s Almanac is way off!  They predicted the snow would start falling as soon as November 5th with November 21st through 30th being very cold.  With November being nearly over and a near 60 degree day on Monday and no snowfall, I think they missed the mark.

The Farmer’s Almanac goes on to say that we should expect a warmer than normal winter with below normal precipitation.

My prediction, I believe we will see near average temperatures as we head into the heart of winter and near average snowfall.  I don’t think we will see the 10 to 12 inch snowfall in one night but expect to see a few snowfalls of at least 7 to 8 inches with a bunch of 4 to 6 inch snowfalls throughout the season.

Are You Ready For Winter?

At Peter Doran Lawn & Landscaping we offer a variety of services in the winter including snow plowing, snow shoveling, roof raking and ice melting.  Grab your free estimate today to ensure you are prepared for those large snowfalls that are surely to come this winter.

Winter Is Coming!  Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Now.

Winter Is Coming!  Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Now.

Winter Is Coming!  Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Now.

Though many homeowners would love to avoid it, every year winter comes our way. When the snow flies, any work in the garden comes to a halt, so take advantage of our warm fall days to prepare your garden for winter. In doing so, you're eliminating many spring tasks, preventing insect and disease problems, and protecting plants for winter.

 Fertilize Your Lawn

The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is when grass roots are building up natural sugars to store over the long cold Minnesota winter. A winterizing fertilizer should contain a moderate level of nitrogen that will aid in storing sugars and a high potassium content (the last number in the 3 number analysis) to help build a strong root system to help grass survive our winter.

Note Timing is key! Nitrogen must be applied late enough that the lawn has slowed growth, however not late enough that the nitrogen will go unused (when the lawn has gone completely dormant). The best time for fall application of fertilizers is late September to mid-October.

Water Water Water!

All plants require plenty of moisture in fall, so the roots don’t dry out through the winter. Deep root watering is the easiest and most economical way.  A slow drip from your garden hose should do the trick. The block of ice that will form around your roots will ensure they stay hydrated during fluctuating winter temperatures.

Eliminate Overwintering Insects and Diseases

Horticultural Oil is a product that will suffocate overwintering insects. Once leaves have fallen from trees and shrubs, simply mix with water and spray onto branches. Note that temperatures need to be above Oº Celsius.

If you had any problems with fungal diseases such as powdery mildew this past summer, apply lime sulphur spray for great clean up results.

As well, any leaves affected by insects or disease this season should be raked up and discarded to prevent problems next season.

Protect your Plants

Newly transplanted Cedars and Evergreens (as well as tender shrubs such as Rhododendron, Azalea and Boxwood) will require a protective barrier to prevent winter winds from drying them out.

Be sure to secure stakes in the soil to support the burlap so it is at least 6" from the outer foliage. This same ‘shelter’ can be created with a large tomato cage with burlap wrapped around the outside.

Tender roses should be mulched in after the ground freezes hard. Cut your tender roses to 7" from ground level. You can use Stryrofoam Rose Huts or Rose Collars to protect plants. There is no need to mulch hardy roses.

For mulch, simply mound peat moss, compost or clean leaves over the plants then place Rose Hut or Collar around the plant.

SOIL

Fall is the perfect time to incorporate organic matter like compost to improve texture in heavy soils and add an amazing source of nutrients.

Request A Free Estimate

If you live in the Minneapolis, MN area and would like help getting your lawn ready for winter, request a free estimate from us today!