Snow The Unlikely Fertilizer

According to Taylor’s Encyclopaedia of Gardening, snow is the “poor man’s fertilizer”. As snow falls, a small amount of nitrogen and sulphur is captured from the atmosphere surrounding each individual flake. As it settles, and subsequently melts, it provides vital nutrients, essential to plant growth.

Snow is also a great insulator. Rather like the igloo effect, perfected by the Inuit and Yupik people, who live in the Arctic Circle, any snow that falls on your garden will actually insulate your soil from the cold and frost. As snow falls on your garden and piles up, it will actually protect your plants from potentially damaging temperature fluctuations.

When temperatures fall below zero, it is better that a layer of snow sits atop your soil, as the insulation provided will prevent deep frost damaging the roots of your trees and shrubs, as well as providing a steady, but not fatal, cool temperature for your spring bulbs to develop. Crocus, daffodils and tulips all benefit from this effect and this will help them bloom at the appropriate time. When temperatures do begin to rise, and the nitrogen in the snow is released, your spring flowers will have received the perfect environment in which to bloom.

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Author: Robert Smith

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