Ask a Question forum: Late Spring Snow Protection for Plants

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Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
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bennysplace
Apr 7, 2016 4:02 PM CST
Hello everyone!

:)

Soooo... are everyone's hands begging to be working the soil as the temperatures warm? I know mine are. I was just in from clearing out the plant debris from winter and I remembered I need to get something this year to protect (mostly) my irises from our late spring heavy snows which are almost always inevitable. Last year they decimated my irises and various other bulbs as the flower stalks broke under the heavy snow. So, I got to thinking this year I will protect them. What I envision in my head is a tarp of sorts that have long stakes on each corner that provide a cover for large lengths of various beds. I can't find anything like that though.

Can anyone out there help with good, practical, economic suggestions?

Thank you in advance!
Benny
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Apr 7, 2016 4:12 PM CST

Plants Admin

Not sure how much area you need to cover, but for heavy snow, any tarp like structure would need to be sharply angled to allow snow to slough off or have an abundance of posts to make sure there is no collapses. I've seen many different things used in this area for winter protecting small shrubs, perhaps something like these could work for your iris until the danger of snow has passed...


Thumb of 2016-04-07/robertduval14/3eeae7 Thumb of 2016-04-07/robertduval14/6c5d10

By the time my iris are putting up bloom stalks in my area the snow is long gone so I've never run into this issue. Hope you find an adequate solution.
central Illinois
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jmorth
Apr 7, 2016 4:14 PM CST
I did something like that -
Thumb of 2016-04-07/jmorth/b3b6ac Thumb of 2016-04-07/jmorth/0332b9

As Robert pointed out you're talking snow, mine were for a temperature plunge.

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - Apr 7, 2016 4:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Apr 7, 2016 5:46 PM CST
At the garden center we use the ground cover material that normally goes under mulch .
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Apr 7, 2016 6:14 PM CST
I was going to suggest a low hoop tunnel and heavy plastic film, so you could re-use it in spring and fall for other temperature protection tasks. But a circular hoop might not have a steep enough pitch to throw snow off the top ... it might build up too much weight and collapse.

You COULD build a pup-tent-shaped "hoop" tunnel if you used 1/2" EMT metal conduit and bent them into steep Vee s instead of half-circle "hoops".

e.g.:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Allied-Tube-Conduit-1-2-in-EMT-Co...
$2.39 for 10' lengths

They also make 3/4" EMT conduit, $3.54 for 10 feet.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 8, 2016 7:00 AM CST
Hi Benny -- I feel your pain about the late snowstorms!

A low tunnel made using PVC pipe, covered with plastic sheeting, will hold up to snow if you either connect the tops of the hoops and then anchor the end ones a few feet from the end of the tunnel, so they can't collapse inward. Or, if you criss-cross the hoops, the way Anderwood does... I know he posted a photo fairly recently on another thread, I'll go see if I can find it and post the link here...

Here's a link to the whole thread: The thread "Snow peas, carrots, spinach" in Ask a Question forum

and this is the specific post and photo that I was thinking of: http://garden.org/thread/view_post/1102072/

I hope this is helpful!
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[Last edited by Weedwhacker - Apr 8, 2016 7:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 8, 2016 11:07 AM CST
That looks like a great idea!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 8, 2016 12:56 PM CST
RickCorey said:That looks like a great idea!


I agree, Rick -- I hope I can remember it the next time I set up a tunnel...
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
Apr 11, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Hey there everyone!

I want to thank you all for the great ideas. I do love the idea of a hoop system. I have a lot to go on and will work on getting that set up. Now watch, I do all this and there will be no late snows. :)

All the best to you all and thank you!

Thank You!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 11, 2016 3:15 PM CST
bennysplace said: ... Now watch, I do all this and there will be no late snows. :)


I hope you're right! The most effective known form of weather control is carrying an umbrella to make it NOT rain.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Apr 11, 2016 3:18 PM CST
I agree -- our snow is finally melting (yet again!); I think I'm going to go out and set up a bunch of low tunnels (and maybe move the snowblower back into the garage) to try to ward off the evil snow spirts Big Grin
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

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