Poor Man’s Fertilizer

Well, wouldn’t you know. I planted half my garden with cool weather crops last Sunday and this weekend it snows. Not a lot, but enough that it stuck to the dirt and was gone when the sun was up — although the snow has lasted longer in the mountains.

And then I am reminded of an old saying: Spring snow is the poor man’s fertilizer.

A little research told me why. Snow feeds nitrogen — good for our alkaline soils in Northern New Mexico — and moisture into the unfrozen ground when it melts. And it doesn’t cost anything.

Lightning and rain do the same thing but faster. I can attest to the benefits of lightning. I’ve seen a garden’s plants shoot up inches and be enlivened after a strong storm. Spring snow does the job slowly. 

Here it is the last weekend in April. It really shouldn’t have snowed but it did. The weather was more blustery than balmy. I lasted only minutes in the garden, enough to look over the beds, still brown except for the bed of garlic I planted last fall. 

A little more snow is in the forecast for two days this week. I say bring it on.