We all put a lot of time and hard work into your yard during the summer. It’s late fall and you have taken the time to get things ready for winter. You know the drill: make sure your plans are all well watered before the ground freezes. Move house plans indoors. Clean up the flower beds, remove, cut back, mulch…etc. Now, winter is on the way. What can you do keep your landscaping healthy when the winds are blowing, the snow is falling and your yard is a frozen tundra.
Wind blown or fallen snow seldom harms your plans, but you need to take precautions when dumping or plowing snow. Damage can occur to your plans when driveways, streets and sidewalks are plowed or shoveled.
When de-icing sidewalks and driveways make sure to use product that will not harm your plants. There are newer products out there that contain magnesium chloride. These products will work well in temperatures down to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit and remains effective longer that some of the old stand by ice melters.
In addition to being a great ice melter, magnesium chloride provides additional befits to plants. Magnesium is a necessary nutrient, and magnesium chloride is used in agriculture. So using magnesium chloride deicers to clear your walks in winter protects your plants and helps to fertilize them year round.
Magnesium chloride’s low melting temperature helps to minimize freeze/thaw cycles. This means it’s a little friendlier to concrete. By reducing freeze/thaw cycles, you reduce potential damage to concrete.
One final thought for those days when snow blankets your landscaping: Snow can be your friend. Snow on the ground helps protect roots by insulating them from extreme cold. And it's a self-regulating source of water; plants need water in the winter, and snow on the ground automatically provides moisture when there's a thaw, even if temperatures get barely above freezing.
Following a couple of rules can help you to protect your plants and stay safe during the winter months. Don't throw heavy snow on delicate plants, and when you buy an ice melter, choose a product with magnesium chloride that can keep your walks clear while protecting your plants and landscaping.