Snow Retention in the Garden: What is Needed and How to Do it

Snow retention on the property is a free way to shelter plants from frost and fertilize the soil.

Snow retention is carried out in order to accumulate snow in the vegetable garden and extract useful properties from it. Snow in winter is very useful for vegetable gardens and winter plants. In addition, this method is completely free. Vegetable garden owners have come up with quite a few ways to keep snow on the vegetable garden for a long time.

Why snow retention is needed: the pros of the procedure

  • A layer of snow protects the ground from freezing and frosty air and keeps it from erosion and winds.
  • Snow retention significantly saturates the soil with moisture and increases the yield of the plot, because meltwater contains many useful substances, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Snow acts as a natural fertilizer for the site.
  • Snow cover increases the temperature of the ground and helps winter plants to successfully overwinter in the soil and bloom earlier. Such plants mature faster.
  • For young shrubs and flowers, snow protects the roots from freezing.
  • Under snow cover, beneficial earthworms will reproduce more readily.

How to delay snow in the garden and vegetable garden – the most affordable ways

  1. If in the fall you planted sides for the winter – to detain snow, you do not need to do anything else. Plants-sides are natural snow retainers. It takes much longer for snow to melt on plots with them.
  2. To prevent snow from blowing in the wind, on the edges of the site put any barriers of improvised materials – slate, sheets of cardboard, plywood, and boards.
  3. Around the roses, young trees, bushes, and other tall plants you can rake snow mounds. Such mounds will take much longer to melt than a thin layer of snow. There is no need to compact the snow tightly, or the roots will not be able to breathe. Hills of snow are recommended for currants, blackberries, gooseberries, and strawberries. It is worth remembering about the cultures that do not like the snow – these are cherries and plums.
  4. Snow lingers much longer in areas where there are natural “obstacles” to its washout.
  5. Therefore, you can place items for snow retention on the site – conifer lapnik, dry branches, firewood, and stalks of corn. These items are placed on the site at an equal distance from each other.
  6. If you have an unheated greenhouse, you can throw snow into it with a shovel.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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