The Benefits of Snow

The Benefits of Snow

I know what you are thinking; you are looking at that headline and thinking, “What? Did I just read that right?” Yes, there ARE benefits of snow even though it can be a pain to drive in and shovel. The plus side is that it’s excellent for your plants.

Snow provides an insulator to root systems in shrubs and trees. Without snow, the deep cold temperatures could damage the roots. It also insulates the plants from cold, drying winds. Snow provides a nice layer of moisture to plants all winter long. And the bonus is that as snow melts in the spring, it’s watering the roots of emerging flowers helping them grow.

As snow falls from the sky, it’s mixed with nitrogen and sulfur, which attaches to the flakes. As the snow melts, these nutrients are absorbed by the soil and act as a fertilizer.

Snow protects plants from the freezing and thawing cycle that always happens in early spring, and sometimes in December too. I can remember a few years when we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving and then no snow for Christmas! But what happens is that each flake has a pocket of air and as they pile up, they reduce heat conductivity so that the temperature doesn’t affect the soil as much and protects plants from very cold temperatures.

And as an added benefit, if the snow can protect the soil from a deep freeze, roots can continue to grow, and earthworms and bacteria can continue working underground to turn garden debris into good compost.

So as you watch the snow drift lazily down, appreciate it both for it’s beauty and the benefits in the spring!

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