Winter has a way of sneaking up on us! This past week’s snowfall was the largest amount ever recorded for that date. We will no doubt have many more measurable snowfalls over the next 3-4 months. Landscapes that were lush and even blooming just a few weeks ago are now blanketed and being compressed by 2-5 inches of the white stuff. What should be done about it? Generally…nothing. The following points are good to keep in mind:
-Snow, and even ice (in moderation), actually acts as a layer of insulation to the plant, protecting it from damaging winter winds and low temperatures.
-Attempting to remove snow from the landscape can cause damage, not only from winter exposure but also from possible broken stems and branches.
-When using ice melt products on your sidewalk/driveway, be sure to keep those products away from the landscape’s root system…and off the lawn for that matter. Plants may show up with damage in spring from exposure to salt and other ice melt products.
-A little snow on the shrubs is good, a lot of snow is not better. Avoid shoveling more snow atop the current level. That insulating blanket happened one snowflake at a time, NOT one 10 lb. shovel load at a time.
Just as we enjoy an extra layer on the bed in cooler temperatures, your landscape is just fine with its ‘blanket’. Don’t ‘think spring’ just yet! Winter hasn’t even started. Enjoy the seasons.