What About This Weather

Cornelian cherry is in bloom at the right time.

Lenten roses are spectacular this month.

Tulips in bloom now are weeks early.

Friends February is not spring most years. Looking at my garden today you would think it is high spring. Everything is early, and a week of warm weather predicted for next week won’t help holding back spring flowering plants. But remember the general last frost date in our area is around April 15. I can assure you if past year’s weather patterns predict the future, we are still in for some hard killing freezes. So what can we do to keep our plants from blooming too quickly and then getting killed? Well, frankly there is not much. But here are a few thoughts that might help.

  • Pull the mulch back from around the plants. Sometimes this will delay plants starting to grow as fast as the ones mulched.
  • If a major freeze is predicted, make sure the ground is moist, and this will help moderate the quick temperature changes.
  • If your plants are in full flower, this is the time I would recommend you cover them if a temperature below 28 degrees is predicted for more than a few hours. At least some of the blooms will probably not be damaged.
  • If your plants are damaged by a freeze, leave them alone, and hopefully new foliage will appear when the weather turns warm.

Well that’s about all I know you can do if the weather turns cold, which it will. If you have other things that have worked for you let me know, and I will be glad to share them.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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