Winter brings mixed feelings to many gardeners. On the one hand, winters are too cold and dreary, and gardeners dream of bright, colorful and warm gardening days every day. Sometimes snow is a nuisance at best and a hazard at worst that snaps off limbs and crashes cars. On the other hand, the cool and crisp mornings and the minimalist aesthetic of winter landscapes are a beautiful and integral part of the seasonal cycle. The snow creates a blanket of calm, encourages a cozy cup of tea by the fire and really brings color to the interesting winter bushes. Also, it offers a lot of benefits to balance everything out. In this article. Savana will let you know why your garden love snow.
Warm And Cozy Insulation
The thickness of a layer of snow is formed by snowflakes stacked on top of each other, with a large number of air pockets between the crystalline layers. This structure provides perfect insulation for the plants below, protecting them and even protecting them from severe cold.
The extra warmth from a layer of snow means your plants can enjoy a stable and safe dormancy with less chance of frost. If the snow lasts long enough, it keeps the soil from freezing, which means roots can sometimes keep growing and growing even in winter.
A Poor Man’s Fertilizer
Snowflakes falling from the sky actually attract nitrogen and sulfur from the sky. These nutrients attach to the falling crystals, and when the snow melts into the soil, nitrogen and sulfur are deposited organically into your garden. Free Fertilizer!
It's a good idea to test your soil after a snowy winter so you can see what soil amendments you actually need - see if mother nature sees before buying amendments in the spring It's ready for you!
A big reason mulch helps a garden is that it helps regulate soil temperature, keeping it stable and retaining moisture despite any weather fluctuations above. Snow does the same!
The snow actually protects the plants from the harsh and damaging weather in Maryland, where we experience 60 days a week and 20 the next week. Without protection, these extreme changes can cause spring blooms to bloom prematurely (the delicate buds then freeze with the next cold day), and woody The branches will split. If there isn't enough cover in the fall, a blanket of snow is Mother Nature's way of helping!
Many plants have evolved to look forward to a good freeze in winter. This means that if the winter is long enough to allow for regular snowfall, the roses will bloom better and the fruit trees will have a better crop. Typically, a fruit tree needs some cold time in the winter in order to produce more fruit later in the year.
Apple trees and other fruit trees actually have very delicate flower buds that can get hurt if they emerge prematurely and experience extreme frost. So here's another example where a layer of snow can protect any flower buds from premature germination with extra insulation.
The Perfect Kind of Hydration
Plants, especially evergreens, are still busy with the photosynthetic cycle. They need water and light. If the ground freezes and hoses cannot be used to replenish the groundwater, then sometimes they may not get enough water in the winter and suffer afterward. With a nice layer of fresh snow that insulates the soil and when it melts it slowly waters the soil instead of freezing it like it could - a win-win for your plants!
If you can’t clean it, hide it!
No chance to clean your garden beds before winter? A layer of snow will hide all the mess and make your garden a pretty canvas all season long. There's a reason so many painters have immortalized the iconic look of winter landscapes—it's simply beautiful.
Risks That Come With Snow
The snow was heavy—very heavy. Some trees have evolved branches that can withstand the weight of snow, such as Norway spruce or Leyland cypress. But even these lifters are feeling the effects of the snow. In a very intense snowstorm, the snow can snap off limbs and crush weak branches, something we've seen recently with New Year's Snow.
Use a broom to gently knock the heavy snow off the trees. Make sure to check shrubs and trees for breaks and cracks, and carefully prune broken branches as temperatures return to above freezing during the day. If it's not snapping off, don't wait until spring to prune it—a springy plant might surprise you.
Using salt to keep roads and sidewalks from freezing is an important part of staying safe in winter. However, all that salt isn't very good for your garden. If you can help it, don't shovel salt snow on any shrubs or garden beds once you start clearing the driveway. Adding gypsum to the soil can help, if not help, with less damage from the salt, which can lessen the burn of the roots below.
Overall, snow in winter can be a great thing for gardens, as long as you spend a little extra TLC after an extreme snowstorm. Freeze-thaw cycles are more likely to kill plants than snow, so of course we prefer a good layer of snow. If you're concerned about late frost or snow after noticing premature sprouting on some plants, your best bet is to insulate them as much as possible with lightweight burlap, mulch, and lightweight mulch.
When it snows, know that the plants beneath it are just as comfortable as we are, patiently waiting for spring to arrive.