Making the most of the snow (The Garden) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

This applies mostly to those of us in the Sunny and occassionally snowy South. With the recent snowfalls we have seen here in North Alabama, I have already begun preparing my garden plots for 2001. When we get snowfall, I move as much as I can to my garden plots and cover it with the leaf humus I have there. So far, I guess I have layered about 4 or 5 inches of snow over the plots.With our extended cold snap it is remaining layered pretty well. I recall being told that snow helps to add nitrogen or something to the soil. I figure if nothing else, it may help the leaf decomposition and maybe control the bugs a little. And most of all, I as an adult , am "working", not "playing in the snow". :)

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, January 01, 2001


Snow does help, I'm convinced. The up side is that the areas piled with snow will get extra moisture when the snow melts. The cold snow pulls the moisture from the air and ground. The snow also mulches well, so any remaining veggie seeds or weed seeds will be well protected from the cold. If you kept the snow off, the cold air would get 'em if they aren't tolerent. Damp soil take up food and minerals better than dry, so it's good that you've piled the snow, for the most part. When possible here in KS, we dig or till in the first snow. You might try covering your beds with clear plastic for 4 weeks once it warms up to sterilize your soil, and give weeds a chance to start and die early on.

-- Marty (, January 01, 2001.

The wooden walkway raised beds are helping a lot to keep in the fallen snow. This morning DJ and I made 3 snowmen in the plots while harvesting the snow from part of our property.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, January 01, 2001.

snow as a mulch,,, means my garden in mulched about 2 foot deep,, had to use the snowmobile to make a path out there to the compost pile,, any body want some,, Ill send it,, you just pay postage and handleing

-- Stan (, January 01, 2001.

Oh Jay,you're just playing in the snow.Come on, you can admit it to us.We understand.

Good excuse tho.I'll remember that one.People who know me would definitely believe it.We've made raised beds in January.My one neighbor was impressed,anyway.

I expect it would help,because it would provide an insulative blanket.If the material under the snow was still fairly warm,it should help speed up composting.But,as cold as it's been this go round,probably won't have that much effect,in that area.Extra nitrogen-had not heard that.Possible. Couldn't hurt. Nitrogen is pretty soluable,so again, probably not too much effect,by spring.But who cares.You are enjoying it.

-- sharon wt (, January 01, 2001.

Sharon, thats what I'm wondering. Maybe what I heard about the nitrogen benifit would only apply to regions that stay snow covered until spring in northern climates. But it is fun and did wonders for my cabin fever. With this and the worm bins, I may make it to spring.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, January 01, 2001.

I guess a little piling on of snow wouldn't hurt. But here in the midwest (Ohio) we have been told not to eat snow for the last 40 years or so because of contaminants and acidity. If I can't eat it, I don't want to concentrate it on my, ahem, organic garden that is suppose to be free of heavy metals and other nasties by piling it on.

Just a thought. I surely don't go out and sweep the snow off my garden. :-))

-- jimR (, January 02, 2001.

Man!!! If snow helps fix nitrogen,then the 2 feet covering my garden here in WNY should help send up peas the size of baseballs in June, if we manage to get the garden in by then! I just wish I had a practical way to get all the snow i've taken out of the driveway to the garden.

-- dan (, January 03, 2001.

I cannot comment on this definitively, but my grandfather always said that it was the snow that you got during a thunderstorm that had the nitrogen in it, gathered from the atmosphere by the electrical action. So that mainly leaves it to late spring snows. I'm wondering if I've got too MUCH snow on, leach out nutrients in spring (sandy soil). I'm piling what I clear off the drive up under the spruces that are always so dry all summer.

-- Julie Froelich (, January 08, 2001.

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