Permaculture Tip of the Day – Shading Snow

It is too cold to rain in Antarctica. This actually makes Antarctica the driest place on earth. In places where there is 6 months or more of snow, we work and plan a design around and for the snow melt. When spring comes in these environments (often times in cold temperate climates)  it comes quick, and when the sun comes in spring, evaporation is usually high and hasty. As permaculturist we act quick to take advantage of sun days especially for vegetation growth. But in these climates we also need to add, in addition to growing, the installation of shade for the snow. This aids in slowing down the melting of the snow and discourages evaporation so the melt sinks into the soil. Covering swales, boomerangs, terraces, and water harvesting basins with a shade cloth will benefit water retention and availability.

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