Snow is good for dormant plants
December 19, 2008
– Posted in:
You can barely see the hill, it's snowing so heavily
“Finally, a decent snowfall.” That’s my first reaction as an ornamental gardener, thinking about the dormant plants. Snow is a great insulator and keeps the soil–and the roots of plants–warmer than if that same soil were exposed to the air.
This is one reason why Ellen Hornig of Seneca Hill Perennials can grow many plants from South Africa that are supposedly not hardy for her area. Oswego, NY gets a tremendous amount of snow, and those South African natives have no idea it’s below zero two feet above them.
I had to change my plans today because of this weather, but I’m glad for my plants.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013