What about this warm, early spring???
We are in uncharted waters with the early warmup this year. 75 degrees in February? But it looks like spring is actually here. Of course bulbs are up and many trees started budding in the last days of February. The long range forecast doesn’t look too bad either. Of course we could have frost clear up until May 15 but our trees, shrubs and perennials are used to being frosted well after they flush out. Normally this doesn’t cause problems. They are burned a bit but they have enough food reserves to push on afterwards. We’ll see just how much they push though. If they are way out and growing it might be a problem. As mentioned………….we are in “uncharted waters” with record warm temperatures in February. We had an unusually early spring a few years ago and never had a killing freeze after that so we were OK. On the other hand, Michigan, had the same early warm up with a later killing freeze which caused much tissue damage and ruined their fruit cherry crop. So don’t be too anxious for summer to get here. We still need cool weather for another two months to prevent later damage.
(late breaking news: I started to write this a couple weeks ago and my prayers have been answered with a cool week. This is just what we needed to keep things in “check” a bit longer to avoid damage with a late spring freeze)
Of course you shouldn’t even be thinking about planting your vegetable garden or annuals yet. While the woody plants and perennials can take a hit from frost and recover, annual plants will die with a heavy freeze. Some exceptions would be the tough leaved plants like cabbage and kale. But keep those tomatoes and peppers indoors until May 15.
Otherwise this cool transition period is great for digging and planting anything but annuals. The soil conditions are relatively dry for digging and we’ve got many weeks of coolness and rain to look forward to so that they become established before another hot, dry summer. If you are planning to move any woody plants you need to do that while they are dormant so get them moved before they break bud. We are starting to dig and plant trees this week.