This past week heavy snow and an accompanying cold snap is a reminder of what January is really like and maybe should be like.

While the snow itself was not enough to place enough stress on the greenhouses the ensuing freezing rain and then rain made it necessary to burn the heaters in empty greenhouses in order to lessen the weight on the structures. A weight of significantly 30 pounds per square foot would certainly place the greenhouse at risk of collapse. Most notably, a greenhouse collapse does not mean a sag and then collapse but one in which the structure leans and then falls like a parallelogram.

For the nursery in all, the snow was a welcome sight in that more than two feet of the insulating blanket remains at the sides of the winter storage huts and in addition provides a tightness of the polyethylene plastic which gives added protection against strong winds of forty miles an hour or greater that might result in the protective cover being torn off.

The snow is also a godsend in the Wolf Creek Botanical Garden as again its insulating power is valuable in keeping the ground from freezing deeply as the rhododendrons struggle to pull water out of the ground to replace that which is lost from the cold, dry winds of January.

Tomorrow is the first in our series of seminars beginning with miniature vegetables for your garden with Jacqueline Kowalski with OSU Extension here in Summit County. Jacqueline will discuss those miniatures that are ideal for growing in containers and small gardens. Whatever the weather, the Owl Barn facility promises to be warm as pipes underneath the floor circulate with 180º F hot water in which heat is radiated from below. What a job in getting ready for the seminar with all the additional work with the snow removal!

In Ohio in winter though, isn’t natural to expect some snow? See you at the seminar.