Two inches here, three inches there, now we’re talking about decent snow cover. While shoveling the snow is a chore — although one I don’t mind — and driving in it can be hazardous, northern gardeners should rejoice with every inch. According to U of M Extension, snow is the best insulation for perennials. Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening points out that gardeners from areas that experience a reliable snowfall can often plant perennials that might not survive otherwise.
Unfortunately, snow cover here has been unreliable the past few years. A so-called wimpy winter often means warm weather that melts the snow just before subzero temperatures hit. Garden experts advise putting down a layer of mulch on perennial beds as the ground is freezing. We’re fortunate this year to get a little extra help from the snow.