Snow: A Good Insulation | The Best Gardening

Snow: A good insulation

Merry Christmas!  We hope you all have an amazing Christmas Day tomorrow.  In celebration, I thought I’d just give you a bit of advice about protecting your plants and irrigations systems (sprinklers) through the winter… so you don’t have to replace them next spring.  I’ve learned a few things over the years, especially after having to dig up and replace sprinkler pipes every spring for a handful of my clients.

In temperate areas of the world (where winters can be cold and long), it is a good thing for your plants when it snows.

Snow is actually an excellent insulator. Surface ground temperatures underneath a thick blanket of snow will stay fairly constant around 32 degrees even if the outside air above the snow is much lower than that. This insulating effect helps protect underground roots from frigid temperatures and winter damage.

If the weather is turning cold and no snow is falling, you may want to cover your perennial flower beds and gardens with a layer of mulch to act as an insulation to protect your plants.

The insulating effect of snow will also help protect underground sprinkler lines from freezing and breaking for those who have installed sprinkler systems.

As an extra precaution for protecting sprinkler lines, though, it’s a good idea to blow out your sprinkler lines in the fall with an air compressor. In the spring, it saves you from having to fix breaks in your sprinkler lines from frozen water.

I can’t express to you how important this is.  Digging up and replacing a sprinkler line is time consuming and costly.  I know this first hand… it was one of my biggest money makers in the spring, but it was also a huge annoyance because there’s so much to do in the spring as far as gardens and yards go, and everyone is anxious to get their yard and garden shaped up, and having to dig through muddy, water-logged soil to find the break in a sprinkler line that happened because the homeowner didn’t want to pay to have all the water blown out of their sprinkler lines in the fall is really, really frustrating and not fun at all.  In the fall I would drag my air compressor around to all my clients, and the ones who agreed to have their sprinkler lines blown out were almost guaranteed to have problem-free sprinkler lines in the spring.  The ones who didn’t were almost guaranteed to have at least one major break.  So compare a $35-$50 cost of having the sprinkler lines blown out, to between $200-$500 for parts and labor to fix a broken sprinkler line.  It just seems to be common sense.  Pay a little now to save yourself a lot in the spring.

About John

Gardening for life, liberty, and happiness. I enjoy being with my wife and family; mowing the lawn; working in the garden; eating (I love food... what can I say?); studying business, gardening, and other subjects; and experiencing all the amazing things life has to offer us.

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One Response to Snow: A good insulation

  1. Joe May 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Snow is an awesome insulation . . . I just wish it would go away for a while since it’s May!!!

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