When does the soil typically freeze in Denver, or does it?

Asked October 30, 2013, 6:13 PM EDT

When does the soil typically freeze in Denver, or does it? We are going to be having two nights with the lows hitting 24. Will this do it, or not? There is no snow cover, but there is plant cover in the area I am interested in.

Adams County Colorado

1 Response

This is a very interesting question. Unfortunately I don’t have a very straight forward answer for you. How long it takes a soil to freeze and how deeply it freezes depends on a number of factors which vary from year to year and site to site. Soil moisture, soil texture, soil color, anything growing or laying on the surface of the soil such as wood mulch or rock, aspect and of course the weather all would affect soil temperature. An area like you describe is unlikely to freeze very deeply till sometime around the end of the year. In an uncovered area of soil like you describe the upper layers of soil will both freeze and thaw easily because they lack any insulation. During a period of time with a few cold nights the soil may freeze shallowly however it will likely thaw again rather quickly. Deeper more permanent freezes are a month or two away at least (in some milder years in the urban areas along the Front Range the soil never really freezes all that “thoroughly").Are you just curious or is there a project you were hoping to accomplish on the site? If you have any further question I would be happy to talk it over with you. Hope this helps,