A winter landscape is a beautiful sight, particularly when under a protective blanket of snow. While winter is a great time to start dreaming about spring, your garden still needs some TLC.
Take a few extra steps to protect trees, shrubs, sidewalks and structures from heavy, wet snow and ice.
Tips for Dealing with Winter Weather:
- Before the first storm hits, tie branches of vulnerable trees or shrubs, particularly young or evergreen, to the trunk for support. If the snow event is a large one, try to remove snow as it accumulates. This may mean going outside while it’s still snowing.
- Use a broom to brush off heavy, wet snow from branches or gently shake trees.
- Although ice can bend limbs to dangerous limits, it also insulates them from cold winds. Trying to remove ice can damage or break limbs, so it is best to leave it.
- To make your job easier, shovel or blow driveways and sidewalks as snow accumulates, rather than waiting for the storm to pass.
- Pile snow around plants, but not on top of them. Plants can use the insulation.
- Don’t use harmful commercial de-icers or rock salt on sidewalks or driveways. The best choice is calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). It melts ice and is no more damaging than tap water. It costs more than rock salt, but you’ll save money and time by not having to replant or replace hardscapes. Kitty litter works, too.
- Remove snow from cold frames, sheds and greenhouses to reduce weight, and in the case of cold frames and greenhouses, allow light for plants.