Snow cover on gardens can benefit plants

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Washington, Feb 28 (ANI): A new research has determined that snow cover on gardens can actually be beneficial for plants.

The research was carried out by Karen Snetselaar, chair and professor of biology at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, and her team.

"Snow cover is actually beneficial for many plants, especially perennial herbs and shrubs, because it provides insulation from freezing temperatures," noted Snetselaar.

"Plants under snow will be exposed to fewer drastic temperature changes, which is often more damaging than continued cold," she added.

Though we may pine for them in the depths of February, uncharacteristic warm days that offer a break in the weather are bad for gardens, according to Snetselaar.

"Early-blooming forsythia bushes, magnolia trees, daffodils and tulips may look pretty, but when cold weather inevitably returns, they may be damaged," she said.

Snetselaar added that, in recent years, even some cherry trees and other plants that normally do not break dormancy early have started flowering long before they should because of extended periods of warm weather early in the season.

"This year, the deep snow cover has kept it cool around the plants on warm, sunny days, so I would expect that we'll see less of this potentially damaging early bloom," she said.

"Another benefit of snow, especially around broad-leaved evergreens like rhododendrons, is that it can help keep moisture around the plants and perhaps reduce airflow," Snetselaar said.

"Oftentimes, winter damage to these plants is more about dry winds than about freezing temperatures. Cold air can't hold as much moisture as warm air, and when very cold air blows over the leaves, it draws moisture from them. It's always a good idea to be sure that evergreens go into the winter well-hydrated," she said. (ANI)

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