Tips&TricksProtecting your garden from snow damage: When and how to clear the winter white

Protecting your garden from snow damage: When and how to clear the winter white

Do you need to shovel the garden in winter?
Do you need to shovel the garden in winter?
Images source: © Freepik | olayola

4:55 PM EST, January 9, 2024

A thick coat of snow acts like a duvet for plants, shielding them from wind and frost. This provides sufficient protection for delicate flora to thrive until spring when the chill recedes and warmth returns. However, it's crucial to note that excessive snowfall can be detrimental to plants, mainly shrubs and trees which can deform or break under its weight. Read on to learn about the ideal conditions for garden snow removal.

When Can Snow Be Detrimental to Plants?

While a thin layer of snow benefits garden flora, a snow-free winter is more harmful than one with moderate snowfall. Yet, when snow persistently accumulates over several days, it becomes heavy, posing a risk to fragile plants. Shrubs lose their natural form, lawns begin deteriorating from lack of oxygen and some plants perish for lack of sunlight.

When snow repeatedly melts and refreezes, it forms thick layers of ice that impede plant access to air. This condition can foster mold growth, known as 'snow mold', which usually proliferates on lawns. Additionally, the use of road salt, employed by some during winters to melt snow from sidewalks, could destroy plants and render the soil infertile for many years if it infiltrates the garden.

Proper Snow Removal Techniques to Protect Your Garden

There are two primary ways to remove snow in a garden: manual and mechanical. Manually involves using shovels and spades, an admittedly tedious process, but capable of eliminating excess snow in a relatively short time. When shoveling near beds, be careful not to damage buried shoots. As for shrubs and small trees, it's recommended to use a broom to shake off the snow gently. There's a minimal chance of damaging the tree in the process. The displaced snow should then be moved to a location where it won't cause obstruction.

Is a Gasoline-Powered Snow Blower a Good Investment? Depends on the size of the garden

If you're considering purchasing a gasoline snow blower, look for one with a scraping and ice-crushing function, helpful for handling extreme frosts that impede garden maintenance. The blower absorbs the snow and throws it several yards away, depending on the device type. Note that this equipment is not suitable for clearing flower beds or lawns, as it could severely damage frozen plants. It's best used on hard surfaces like paving stones or asphalt.

Snow removal in the garden
Snow removal in the garden© Freepik | yekatseryna1
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