Burpee Forecast: Record Snowstorms a Blessing in Disguise for Home Gardeners

Mar 05, 2014, 11:18 ET from W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

WARMINSTER, Pa., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While multiple winter storms continue to cause widespread disruption across the nation, garden experts at Burpee, one of America's oldest seed and plant companies, predict a silver lining. George Ball, Burpee's chairman, suggests that by providing much needed moisture for springtime plantings, and insulating perennial plants that are dormant in winter, the record snowfall will be a blessing in disguise for home gardeners.

Winter storm Titan, the 20th of the 2013-14 North American winter storm season, affected millions of people across the country earlier this week, with the heaviest snowfall in central Penn. The cold weather has not been confined to the northeast however: winter storms have reached deep into the south and Midwest to deliver significant snowfall in areas that do not normally experience it.

"A few feet of snow provide an 'igloo effect' that insulates plants and shields vulnerable root systems from potentially destructive temperature fluctuations," noted Ball.

According to Ball, a past president of the American Horticultural Society, in Washington, D.C., the deep snow cover actually helps warm hibernating plants, providing a "security blanket" that protects root crowns, and in some species, the upper root system. 

"Under a heavy snow covering, the soil can be 25 degrees warmer than the air temperature," Ball pointed out. "The thick snow covering creates a finely calibrated "drip system" that keeps plant roots underground optimally watered even in frigid conditions."

Ball advised that when the warmer weather arrives, the resulting snow melt will help keep water tables well-supplied for upcoming plantings for the 2014 home gardening season.

About Burpee
A true heritage brand, The Burpee Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1876 by W. Atlee Burpee, an 18 year-old with a passion for plants and animals, and a mother willing to lend him $1000 dollars of "seed money" to get him started in business. Within 25 years he had developed the largest, most innovative seed company in America. By 1915 Burpee was mailing a million catalogs a year to America's gardeners. Today, Burpee is still a family seed company and still in the Philadelphia area. Owned and operated by George Ball Jr., Burpee's seeds and plants are available – and guaranteed - for all growing zones and for all seasons. Its highly recognizable catalog is now available in print and online. For more information, gardening techniques, recipes, gift cards and more, visit www.burpee.com or call: 1 (800) 888-1447.

SOURCE W. Atlee Burpee & Co.