White Manure


Ahh, it’s snowing again! We do live in Minnesota so at this time of year its really not that surprising. As I sit here by the window watching it snow, I remember my mama saying

“Look at all that beautiful white manure.”

For me as a kid, snow meant no school, sledding, snowmen and snow angels. Now that I’m older, I’ve thought about what mama said, and I’ve wondered what it meant to her.

A little bit of research has shed some light on the subject, and I’m excited to share it with you!

One big benefit of a good snow cover is it is a excellent insulator of the soil. With out snow, very cold temperatures can go deep into the soil and damage root systems of your trees and shrubs. I like to mulch with the snow on some of my gardens.

It can also help protect perennials,bulbs,ground covers, and other plantings from freezing and thawing cycles. Milder temperatures and the sun could warm the soil surface, leading to damage from soil heaving, which can break roots and dry out plant parts.

Snow also helps conserve soil moisture over the winter.

Of course there are the drawbacks of snow (shoveling it is one) Heavy snow can damage trees and shrubs as the weight accumulates on branches. If there are heavy snows, carefully brush off snow from branches.

The other drawback of snow in the landscape is small animals, such as voles and mice are now protected from predators. These pests will tunnel under the snow and may gnaw on tender bark at the base of young tree trunks and the stems of shrubs. Rabbits will also be more likely to feed on tender bark when the ground is covered.

One final positive on the snow is it really make some landscape plantings. Trees and shrubs with ornamental bark, such as red dogwood or river birches, look more brilliant. Ornamental grasses left standing from last season are much more visible. Evergreens may look much greener.

Hmmm… It appears the snow has stopped for now. Time to go shovel some white manure off my driveway and onto my landscaping!

Mar 03

White Manure

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