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Snow working overtime to feed our gardens, lawns

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I do not want to be Negative Nancy’s twin sister, Jaded Janet, but it’s not over.

According to the 2014 Farmers’ Almanac we can expect several bouts of heavy snowfall in January or February and maybe a big one in March just to close the winter season with some pizzazz.

I was in Lowe’s last week picking up a discounted Christmas item, when a couple bundled in heavy winter coats and wearing winter boots walked by the newly stocked spring gardening section. Waving her hand over the seeds, peat starters and watering cans, the woman smiled and said to her husband: “Ahh, that sight makes me feel better.”

I don’t know about yours, but my garden seems to be enjoying her excitingly diverse life. One minute she’s hunkered down and buried in 12 inches of snow, blanketed from the –15 degrees, and the next minute she’s glamorously basking in 50 degrees, showing off her brown mulch while awaiting the spring release of colors.

I’m pretty sure my drought-ridden yard and gardens are lapping up the melted snow like the Indy 500 fans quenching their thirst during the 91-degree race in 2012. I read recently that piling snow on your gardens can pay great dividends, although I honestly haven’t felt the need to test and prove this gardening experiment — maybe after the next big snow.

But just in case you’re sick and tired of the thought of more snow this winter, take note of this uplifting news. Studies have shown that snow (and rain) contains nitrogen compounds, and it’s estimated that 2 to 12 pounds of nitrogen are deposited per acre as a result of a snow. Folk wisdom labels a blanket of snow “a poor man’s fertilizer” — usually referring to snow that falls in the spring or when the ground is thawed.

It’s reassuring to know that if we have any more home-bound days, the snow is working overtime by feeding our lawns, hostas and echinacea — besides providing the extra school snow days, sledding and beautiful winter photos.

Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.

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