You may have heard that snow is a good insulator for your landscape plants. Well indeed it is! A blanket of snow is composed of approximately ninety percent trapped air and ten percent water. Snow serves the purpose of providing a protective barrier (insulation) separating plants from the lower temperatures around them. Stored heat in the ground being radiated is trapped under the layer of snow; hence, maintaining plants at a slightly higher temperature than the surrounding environment. This creates the same effect as the insulation barrier in the walls of your home. Mulch is also used as an insulating barrier for plants and the snow helps to further maintain the temperature of the soil.
Even when temperatures plummet the temperature under the snow will stay fairly constant around 32 degrees helping to protect underground roots from winter damage. Besides forming a protective barrier, melting snow also provides a source of water for plants during the cold winter months. With the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing it is good news that snow cover can be beneficial for your landscape and is nature’s natural insulator!
As Always…Happy Gardening!
Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2014, All Rights Reserved