Let it Snow!
I’ve spent a lot of time outside this year. My work and my heart take me outside as long as they can. It was great to have a relatively warm October. As the temperatures drop, I enjoy the outdoors less and less. Either snow or permanently below zero temperatures force a stop at the nursery.
For a guy who eats, sleeps, and dreams being outdoors and in warm weather, winter comes as a love-hate relationship. I don’t have to organize all the managers or manage the planting jobs. I don’t have to cut grass. I sleep more with less responsibilities. No sugar plums dancing in my head at anytime during the growing season. But as I think of taking this big break, I do deal with cabin fever.
One of the last yard care possibilities that we may have forgotten about is the potential of snow covering some of the tender plants. All plants benefit from snow cover because the roots and covered stems don’t freeze out as easily. It was good to see 5-6 inches come down all at once and then get chilly. Having said that (here comes the list) many perennials, roses, hydrangeas, tender barberries, weigela, tender clematis, even sensitive spirea could benefit from extra snow cover. This means going out there and putting an extra layer of snow on top of the plants, adding extra insulation. Is this a requirement for sustaining the life of a plant? Not always, but it is a benefit if the snow melts during a warm spell or if it becomes extremely cold and we don’t receive much more snow. The more snow = more protection and warmth. So, if you have plants that you can easily access and dump a little extra on, do it now before it gets really cold. It is almost always beneficial. It is especially beneficial where plants are in a wind tunnel. This example would be at corners or in-between homes.
The only drawback I’ve ever seen of dumping extra snow on small plants is that if an ice layer forms due to melting, the plants may incur some structural damage. Honestly, I would rather trim a broken branch than have the roots frozen out. At least if it’s just a branch broken the low stems can reboot.
Snow cover is your friend, if God doesn’t make it happen, you still can!