Some plants will benefit from a little extra snow during the winter. Snow around the rose bushes will provide some insulation from the sap-chilling deep freeze of this past week. Bitterly cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time will result in more roses biting the dust this winter.
A thick layer of snow will not harm the lawn, provided that there aren't leaves left on the surface. The snow and leaves combine to prevent air from reaching the foliage. This is likely to lead to an accumulation of water under the leaves, which in turn will lead to putrefaction. If the grass is cut short in the fall, the lawn is less likely to get diseased by the longer leaf blades being smothered. The last mowing should always be a little shorter. (the problem I've had is that autumn doesn't seem to know when to quit, and I end up with 2 or 3 last cuts). Don't cut the lawn too short, of course, as this makes it more susceptible to frost damage if there is little snow.
Grass that has been cut too short, on the other hand, is susceptible to frost damage.
If you walk on the lawn regularly during the winter, it is also advisable to remove the snow from these paths. Snow that is hard-packed by foot prints on the lawn could lead to damage to the grass plants. (It could also lead you down a garden path)
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