Monday, April 18, 2011

Is there hope for my snow-covered daffodils?

AP Photo/Mankato Free Press, Pat Christman
A daffodil bows under the weight of heavy, wet snow in Mankato, Minn. 
In case you missed the weather advisory for Macomb, Oakland and Livingston counties, the snow is expected to stay with us until the rain on Tuesday washes it away.

My daffodils could not be more disappointed. Blooming just in time for Easter, they are now covered with a layering of heavy snow. It’s times like this these that I agree with my brother-in-law -- California is the place to be.

So what’s a homeowner in the Midwest to do?

If your plants are covered with snow it does not necessarily mean all hope is lost. Some may not recover but there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the damage.
·       It’s important that they do not defrost too quickly, so protect them from the morning sun. If you can’t move the plant, cover it with a layer of black plastic.
·       To prevent further die back and to encourage the plant to produce fresh new shoots, cut back the frosted growth.

·       To promote new growth even further feed the plant a balanced fertilizer (it should have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium).

·       Another option is to dig up the smaller plants, and bring them indoors. Provided they are not subjected to prolonged periods of heavy frost, wet or cold, they will quickly produce new growth.

·       Spring snow is heavy. If it piles up on your trees, shrubs and hedges try to shake the excess snow from the branches to prevent them from becoming disfigured by the weight.

·       Once you’ve removed the wet snow, consider using string, attached to the branches to stop them from being pulled out of shape or breaking from the weight. If the branches pull away too far, they will not spring back into place when the snow is gone.

·       Do not walk on the grass while it’s covered with snow. Besides leaving unsightly marks it will damage the turf beneath and can encourage the growth of fungal diseases.

My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual – Phyllis Diller.

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