Gardening During a Warm Winter, Early Spring
With the warm and mild weather we've had this winter season our trees and plants are starting to think it's spring already.If you're worried about your plants, there are a few things you can do now to help them in the months to come.
With the warm and mild weather we've had this winter season our trees and plants are starting to think it's spring already. Last winter volunteers at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum could not get to any of their plants, because they were covered in snow, but this year is way different.
Some plants, like Daffodils are already starting to grow ahead of time. Not everything is budding early, but some things definitely are, especially if your plants are facing south.
"They're responding to the warm soil temperature," said horticulturist Bill Carlos.
The soil temperature is at least ten degrees above normal for this time of year, which has a direct impact on our vegetation. Best thing you can do is just cover the plants with some mulch. This will block the sun, and keep them warm if a cold snap comes. Some of your plants, especially trees, might be thirsty too.
"I think the most important thing we have to keep in mind is that we're still losing water and we haven't had any appreciable precipitation over the last couple of months compared to last year," said Carlos.
A good soaking will last your Evergreens a couple of weeks. They've started watering at the arboretum about two months a head of schedule. If you do need to water, make sure to drain everything incase it freezes.
You can tell your tree is parched if it has a yellowish tint to it. On the other side of things, if a bare tree turns green again, you know it's going to bud soon.
"I'm seeing a little bit of a cast on some of the trees around here. It's not real prominent but it's starting to come," said Carlos.
If the warm weather persists for the next couple weeks, you can expect lots of trees to indeed bud, which is not good if this warm weather is followed by a cold snap.
"What can really happen if we get a really hard freeze kills all the buds. Again that would stress out the tree," said Carlos.
In that case, it's all in Mother Nature's hands. For now, you can prune your trees and plants, as well as water them. It is way too early to think about spring planting.