Spring Really Is Closer Than It Seems

snow and wrapped plant

A Good Thing: Snow cover is a great insulator for garden perennials.

Before we know it, we are going to be complaining about the heat. Is that even possible? I have a faint memory of doing just that in the not so distant past. In the meantime, even though I am not a skier, I’m very happy to see those massive piles of snow, which are doing a great job of insulating the perennials in the garden. The snow doesn’t insulate as in keeping warm, it insulates by keeping plants (and soil) cold, and therefore dormant, so they don’t start growing, only to met with another icy blast.

The great snow cover we’ve been having means our gardens haven’t been suffering the dreaded freeze-thaw cycles that Toronto so often gets in January and February. Temperature flip-flops are murder on plants’ roots. Hardy plants need to freeze, and stay frozen, until spring’s warmth wakes them up.  So I say, hurray for the snow, for now.
With coming thaws expected this week, pile as much leftover snow as you can onto your perennials. Any stray evergreen branches or twigs can also help keep your perennial garden under cold wraps until it’s safe for it to start throwing green buds out there. And in the meantime, it’s off to buy some potted tulip or hyacinth bulbs to give me a taste of spring flowers indoors while the snow still flies.

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