…of what lies ahead. Regardless, the calendar says that by now we should have located our snow removal gear and made sure that it’s in good repair, ready for action. If you’re mechanized make sure you’ve got the right oil in the engine and a full tank of gas.
How about your supply of sand or ice melter? In an emergency you can use a pelletized fertilizer but the runoff may put more nutrients in places you don’t need them. And refresh your memory by reading the directions on the ice melter you have. Generally they are salts and may damage concrete.
Think back over winters past. What problems did you have? And what should you do differently? Was your plow or shoveling pattern really the best? Did you find yourself walking over the same territory again and again? Or did you have to pick up and carry too much? Where did you pile the snow? Was it all in one pile that turned to ice and took months to melt when spring finally arrived?
Did any of your woody plants have problems with snow or ice? Should your plan include gently brushing or shaking any particular shrubs to dislodge snow while it’s still fluffy?
Do you, should you, make special arrangements for your pets? Are you feeding wildlife? While you’re at it, where’s your own Arctic weather outfit?
But my bottom line is the recommendation that if snow is in the forecast you should plan to get up early. Get outside before breakfast and get the snow removed before people drive or walk on it, compacting it, turning it to dangerous ice and making it much more difficult to remove.
Written by Glenn Palmer, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer