There’s nothing wrong with having snow in your garden. It makes a great insulator and can provide just the right water to your dry plants during the winter.
However, once snow builds up and causes trunks to bend and break, it’s a totally different story.
Here are some of the best tips you can use to deal with snow in your garden.
If you want to stop snow from accumulating in your garden, there’s really no better way than to shovel often. If you delay removing snow until the next day, you’re simply making your job a lot harder. Remember, snow can stick to the ground and freeze.
Be mindful of the shovel you’ll use. Make sure to use a quality shovel to avoid straining your body, particularly your back.
As much as possible, skip the cheap shovels. Although they can save you some money, they can make the job harder. They can even leave you with arm stiffness and back pain. They break easier as well and that means a repurchase.
Get a snow blower
If shoveling sounds like a lot of work for you, get a good snow blower. It can make removing snow a lot faster and less tedious.
Here’s the catch.
If you are going to buy a snow blower for the first time, consider getting one that’s maintenance-free. An electric snow blower is a great choice because you don’t need to change oils and fill it up each time. You just need an electrical outlet and extension cord and you’re good to go.
Now, if you are looking for the most efficient and powerful snow blower, a three-stage snow blower is one of the usual top picks. Although it’s probably not the cheapest blower you can find, it can save you a lot of time and energy.
If you’re going to use a snow blower, don’t point it to any plant to avoid breaking or damaging it.
To get rid of snow on your shrubs and plants, remember to be really gentle and careful. With a broom or just your hands, sweep upwards to loosen the snow on your plants. Avoid sweeping downward as that can completely break any bent branch.
Don’t shake your plants, too. They are already stressed and very brittle. Shaking them will only make things worse.
As for the ice, just leave it and wait it out. If you try too hard to remove ice, you are liable to break branches off your plants.
Apply cooking oil to your shovel
This might sound weird but it definitely helps.
Using cooking spray on your shovel makes it easier to move the shovel through the snow since it prevents sticking. Just remember to completely wipe the oil off before storing your shovel in the garage to avoid creating a mess.
Choose the right form of ice melt
You actually have tons of options to get rid of a slippery driveway. You can get a calcium magnesium acetate, urea, calcium chloride or salt to get the job done.
Take note, however, that those ice melt forms aren’t the same. So, be sure to do your homework and really consider your choices. Some of them can be damaging and harmful to plants, floorings, and animals.
If you’re on a tight budget, go with salt. It’s readily available and cheap. It’s best applied to driveways and walkways but never directly on your garden.
Choose Magnesium Chloride if you’re looking for something that’s gentle on vegetation and most surfaces. It’s pet-friendly, too.
Be careful where you pile your snow
When you’re removing snow from your roof, garden or driveway, make sure you’re not piling it up near your house. This can create problems in the foundation of your home, like frozen pipes and cracks.
Avoid creating a huge pile along your driveway’s edge, too. This can cause chunks to fall back into your driveway, forcing you to clear the area twice.
The equipment and tools you’ll be using for snow removal aren’t the only things you have to worry about. Since the process requires a lot of effort, you need to be physically ready, too.
Wear the right gear and dress properly to protect yourself. Dressing in layers can help keep your body warm while you’re outdoors. Avoid long winter coats and wear insulated vests instead. This will ensure your flexibility while working.
Remember to protect your hands and head as well. Wear a warm hat and a pair of earmuffs to prevent heat from escaping through the head.
As for your hands, wear gloves that will allow you to grip your shovel well without letting your hands get cold. If a pair of gloves isn’t enough, get a pair of heated gloves. They will keep your hands and fingers warm as you shovel through the snow.
Don’t forget to do a bit of stretching prior to shoveling, too. This will warm up and stretch your muscles to prevent injuries.
You don’t necessarily have to do a long and complicated routine. Stretching for about 5 to 10 minutes can be enough to prep your body for the hard work.
Consider getting salt-resistant plants
If you struggle with snow accumulating on your driveway every year, it’s probably the right time to get salt-resistant plants. Having them in your yard means you’ll be able to use salt and deicers without having to worry too much about killing your entire yard.
Some of your best choices are bee balm, peony, yucca, sedums, and butterfly weed. Century plant, rosemary, oleander, and rugosa rose are good options as well.
Most people look forward to seeing snow but feel dreadful once it’s time to get rid of the snow in their yard. If you are one of those people, knowing the right tips and tricks can greatly help. Investing in the right tools and equipment can make the process a lot easier, too.