This is hard to write, but true: We need more snow!
Extremely cold weather has settled over the upper midwest way too early this season. The transition was brutal and fast and many of our landscape plants- especially younger ones – weren’t ready for it. Most of the Greater MSP metro has only a couple inches of snow cover on the ground.
Snow works through the winter as an insulation to roots and soil of your landscape plants. It doesn’t necessarily keep them warmer on a day-to-day basis, but deeper snow cover helps to moderate temperature swings in the soil. If you have any new plants or ones that are only hard to zone 4b or 5a, you will want to get some straw, leaves or other cover for the plants.
As well, it looks like this cold will last 2 weeks or so. Our soil is pretty dry right now. With little snow cover and dry soil, the frost line can get deep extremely fast. Deep frost lines cause problems with water systems, construction and plant health.