The Yellow Farmhouse Garden

March 25, 2015

Snow cover helps perennial plants get through winter in great shape

Filed under: Weather — bob @ 4:02 pm

Our second bitterly cold winter in a row is finally over. Even though this winter was not as cold as last year’s, it still made the record books as one of the top twenty coldest.┬áIt’s kind of surprising to me how quickly it ended. Just a few days of moderate temperature erased the snow.

The plants in our area look to be in pretty good shape despite those cold temperatures. We can thank the continuous blanket of snow that was covering the ground all winter.

Snow is nature’s insulator. I’ve heard people say they were worried because snow would freeze their plants. I’ve had to point out to them that snow is a gardener’s best friend , especially if you have perennial flowers and small fruit such as strawberries.

Farmers who grow winter wheat — which is planted in the fall — pray each year for snow cover so their wheat crop is not damaged by exposure to cold temperatures and desiccating winter winds.

Despite the fact that I neglected to mulch my strawberries as I usually do, they look to be in great shape.

The garlic I planted last fall looks good too. There was no covering on those either except what nature provided in the way of snow. I got lucky this time skipping the mulch, I don’t plan on ever taking a chance like that again.

The mud season around here was pretty short too, it lasted only a few days. The mud I’m talking about is that mud that forms when the surface layer of the soil thaws but the lower layers are still frozen. That surface water has no where to go so just turns into mud especially if poultry or livestock are walking over it.

Since the soil was not frozen very deep around here — again thanks to the continuous snow cover — it was able to thaw out very quickly.

One other surprise I found was a couple of rows of spinach that were still green and beginning to make good growth. Without that snow, they would have been frozen out way back in November.

 

The snow cover provided great protection from the harsh winter. A short row of spinach came through in fine shape

The snow cover provided great protection from the harsh winter. A short row of spinach came through in fine shape

It looks like we’ll be eating an early salad from the outdoor garden this year.

 

 

 

 

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