Urban Garden Denver Blog

Melting Snow

This weekend is a great example of Colorado extremes which make it a great place to live, but with dramatic changes for plants. We enjoyed lots of snowmelt with temperatures in the 50’s after last week’s negative lows. I’m sorry for any of you following from other parts of the country which are still very cold. Denver temperatures fluctuate regularly.

While you are enjoying the warm weather this week, pay attention to the snowmelt patterns in your yard. Some are obvious, such as the piles of snow on the north side of fences where the sun never shines this time of year. However, you might also have some more subtle patterns of snowmelt and clear ground in your yard. The problem with the clear ground, is that those plants think it is spring now, even though the calendar says January and we have many more months of freezing temperatures. These warm spots are where you want to protect with mulch or evergreen branches. Next fall when you are planting bulbs, these are also the spots where you want to plant the bulbs a bit deeper than the recommendations.

Next time it snows, you can adjust your snow shoveling strategy to pile the snow higher on the warmer spots, to offer more moisture and longer chill for those plants. Also, when we are shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, we make sure to put lots of snow around the base of the trees, to provide water for their roots. Might as well take advantage of the melt in our ground, rather than see it all run down the storm sewers.

And if you have a sidewalk that is still icy, please use this warm week to scrape it down to the pavement. All the walkers in your neighborhood will appreciate you. You can also help out a neighbor by doing their walk if they are unable. Several of us on our block shovel in front of the vacant lot so all the walkers have a clear shot to the end of the block

Enjoy a little warmth in January. My yellow pansy emerged again this week. Here’s a picture of it! If you don’t have winter pansies in your yard, you can plant some in early spring or next fall.

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  1. * sandra schaffer says:

    I’m so impressed by your observations and the way you tune in to what is around you. I completely agree with your observations.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago

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