13 Mar Snow— Mulch From Heaven
This winter has already provided the Northeast US with a blanket of snow— though much of its melted by now, as February started us off with 50+ degree days. Some gardeners may be concerned or just plain curious about how snow effects the plants in their garden. Actually, the garden benefits from snowfall in several spectacular ways—your curiosity will not leave disappointed.
Snow acts as an extra layer of mulch, insulating plants from the wind and the cold, keeping soil temperatures warmer. For every inch of snow, temperature below the snow actually rises by about two degrees.
Snow is a low dose fertilizer, providing nitrogen as well as sulfur and other trace elements.
Snow may be an even more efficient water source than rain. The ground soaks up the melting snow, receiving water slowly and steadily. Snow will not oversaturate your ground like rain might, and there won’t be as much runoff.
The University of Colorado in Boulder reported that there are certain microorganisms which become more active under snow, breaking down waste and creating more nutrients.
There is, however, one place you don’t want snow building up in the garden— weak or delicate branches could break from the weight of excessive snow, possibly causing injury to people or plants below.
So, fear not! Now, when you see snow falling on your garden, you can trust that your plants are receiving excellent care.