Idea: In places where it snows a decent amount (not here in NW CA), would it be a good idea to pile snow over your hugel beds and/or around mulched trees that would absorb the snowmelt and dissipate excess slowly? It seems it could also help places where fruit trees bloom too early and then get hit by late spring frosts because the soil would warm more gradually. The thought came from how much we take glaciers for granted in how they bring water for irrigating or ground watering fruit trees and vines when they need a dry summer and fall to avoid mold.
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
That works, but it's a good bit of work. What I've done is plant early blooming frost sensitive plants into the leeward side of the prevailing winter winds. I let nature do that work for me as the snow drift settles into that slack air space, and it really adds a lot of moisture. I've noticed the same phenomenon on the backside of some of my swales...more moisture GOOD!