GardenWise on Snow Damaged Gardens
As the snow falls, I think about the long term effect it will have on so many gardens. I see people burying beds in their front yards with piles of snow laced with salt, and homeowners salting their gardens on the local news. I cringe each time I see it. Put down the salt! and check out some tips on how to help your garden/landscape recover from the snow storms.
*Stop Salting Near Your Garden! Repeated use of salt will damage plants and change your soil structure. If you used a lot of salt in the past couple of weeks, be sure to thoroughly water your lawn and landscape in early spring.
*Snapped branches should be cut cleanly just outside the swelling or collar where the base of the branch joins the trunk, but there is no need to be hasty. Waiting a month or two won’t harm the tree.
*Shrubs, which have multiple stems and denser branching, are more willing than trees to fill in from breakages, so cleanly remove the broken stems and sit back.
*The best thing you can do for azaleas, Japanese hollies or any other shrub buried in wet snow is to leave them alone. Trying to excavate a shrub will only damage stems and buds. If you must, use a broom and be gentle while dusting off any snow. Flattened plants will spring back, perhaps not immediately, but they will want to reach for the sun again. Once the snow is gone, find broken branches and cut them cleanly where they meet another stem.