Snow is Good! (Yes, Really!)
Granted it’s never guaranteed we’ll get any, despite the annual rumours it will be the worst winter in the history – but we thought we’d reassure you that if we do get a covering of the white stuff, there’s no need to worry! There are in fact benefits for your garden if it does decide to come down on us this year.
Firstly, snow is an excellent insulator for plants. This isn’t a fact people would assume because it’s so cold and wet, but have you ever noticed how quiet and cushioned everything sounds when snow has covered everything? It does the same thing for plants, protecting them from harsh winter winds and helping to stop the water in the plant cells freezing and damaging cell walls. It also helps stop the ground freeze, which is good for protecting the roots of trees and shrubs. It is literally a ‘blanket of snow’.
The way snowflakes are shaped is what makes snow such a great insulator. They are uniquely formed to have small spaces in their structure. These spaces are filled with air and result in low heat conductivity, protecting plants from dips in cold temperatures on a daily basis.
Another benefit of snow is that it acts as a natural fertilizer. The structure of snowflakes means that it picks up nitrogen as it falls through the air, and anyone with a bit of gardening knowledge will know the benefits of nitrogen on plants. It is an essential element in their growth, and when the snow melts it is released into the soil and absorbed by the plant roots. The melting of the snow also adds water content to the soil in time for the start of spring, perfect for those early perennials.
Of course we couldn’t finish without drawing attention to the beauty of the world when snow has made an appearance. We know there are as many drawbacks as there are benefits to snow but few things compare to the magical sight of a snow covered park, untouched and perfectly white.
So, put on your wellies, parka and gloves, and get out there and make a snowman, while the snow takes care of your garden. Hot chocolate, anyone?