Between the fun of fall and the busy holiday season, you may have neglected snow-proofing your outdoor plants. Now, you’re looking at your drooping, snow-covered landscaping and wondering if it’s too late to intervene. The good news is that it’s not; better late than never!
Here are a few ways to protect your garden from snow:
You can cover your plants with plastic grocery store bags, making sure to tie them loosely at the bottom to keep them from blowing off your plants.
After this holiday season, it’s a pretty good bet you have cardboard boxes to spare. You can place these over your plants to protect them from the weight of snow and ice. Put a reminder in your phone to take the boxes off before spring, though, as this blocks the plants from getting the light they need to grow when the weather is more forgiving.
Stake Your Plants
If you don’t want to cover your plants completely, offer them some extra support by tying them to stakes.
Plastic Bottles or Milk Jugs
Milk jugs and 2 liter plastic bottles make great barriers. Cut the bottoms off the bottles or jugs and place them right-side up over your plants, then remove the lids so water can still reach them.
Clear Storage Bins
A clear storage bin does double duty, not only protecting the plants but also creating a greenhouse effect on them to give them a boost of warmth through the cold winter months.
Tarp the Garden
You can cover the entire garden with plastic drop cloths or tarps. Support the covers with garden stakes to keep them off your plants. No drop cloth available? You can use old bed sheets as a makeshift tarp.
Avoid Slinging Your Shoveled Snow into the Garden
When you’re shoveling snow, you hardly think about where you’re throwing it. Make sure to toss it away from flower beds, and aim your snow blower away from your plants.
Don’t Manually Remove Snow from Plants
When you see your plants drooping under the weight of snow, you may be tempted to shake them off. Remember that cold, frozen stems and branches are very easily broken. If you must remove the snow, gently brush it off rather than shaking the plant.
Never Use Ice Melt on Gardens or Plants
When sweeping ice melt or salt off your sidewalks, keep it out of your gardens and off your plants.