Catching Snow Melt in Your Garden

The snow that we had here has now almost entirely gone. The temperatures are much higher. And all that snow melt from our roof now means that the rainwater harvesting barrels are full. I thought this could be a good time to talk about catching snow melt in your garden – to help you make the most of this resource rather than feeling miserable about the slush and mud.

Obviously, we only have moderately low levels of snowfall in our areas. In other areas, snow melt can cause considerable flooding risk. But on a well-managed site, floodwater from melting snows can potentially be directed and stored for later use, when water may be in much shorter supply.

If you live in an area where there is a high level of snow cover in winter, it could be a good idea to consider strategies to catch and store all that valuable fresh water on your property, rather than simply letting it all drain away.

Of course, plants play a role in storing water on a site. Ensuring good vegetative cover with trees, shrubs and other perennial plants is one way to make sure snow melt water stays around.

But you can also consider installing infrastructure to help you manage all that water on your property. For example, you might install extra rainwater barrels or butts to collect excess water from your roof as snow melts.

You might also consider digging drainage ditches, and directing snow melt to a pond or reservoir on your property. Digging a drainage ditch and basin to collect snow melt on your property could be a job to get on with before spring, as long as the ground is not frozen solid where you live. This is something that sounds grand and large-scale – but you can install a smaller scale version of something like this in many typical domestic scale gardens.

Just think about the benefits that catching and storing water from snow melt might bring to you and your garden later in the year.

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