I honestly missed not having any snow last year. We need some snow. But, I’m not a fan of several feet of the white stuff and really not a fan of the ice that often accompanies a Maryland snow storm.
Snow is so much more than just precipitation or the reasons for school and work delays due to hazardous road conditions. With online teaching options, do snow days even exist in the school calendar anymore?
Positive for Plants
There is an old saying, “Snow is a poor man’s fertilizer.” This is because snow actually acts as a fertilizer boost to plants. As rain and snow travel through the atmosphere, they pick up nitrogen. Because millions of snowflakes provide a much larger surface area than rain drops, nitrogen attaches to the flakes providing a better method of delivery. Melting snow imparts a slow and gentle release of this nitrogen into the soil, benefitting plants early in the spring when the ground is thawing.
There is certainly much truth to another saying: “A good winter snow makes all the plants grow.” A blanket of snow provides exceptional insulation of the soil and the plant roots within it. Sudden temperature drops that occur in a snowless landscape can lead to the damage of roots and bulbs as the soil freezes deeper and deeper. In fact, the freeze-thaw cycle can heave plants such as strawberries right out of the ground, breaking their tender roots.
Snow not only provides a blanket that prevents acute temperatures from damaging plants, but it also protects them when warmer temperatures threaten to dry out the soil before spring arrives. When spring does arrive, the melting snow slowly infiltrates the ground, providing plants with the lifesaving liquid they need at the beginning of the growing season. A good snowpack is incredibly important for replenishing the water table. And with our drought last summer, we certainly need a good snowpack this year….just not the ice!