Early Spring Signs - Northeast

Hey there. garden euphoria is on the rise as Spring approaches. Savvy gardeners are dreaming in green, dusting off their garden shoes, oiling up their Felcos and busy rummaging through seed catalogs to get Spring started. It seems, knock on wood, that Spring is coming early to the Northeast region as daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses, oh my, are already peaking their heads above ground. Deciduous plants have already begun to set their buds as well. We have the warmest winter on record to thank for that. Still, signs of Spring aside, you might be scratching your head. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

You are right to be worried, just a little.

Nature's resiliency aside, you should know what this weather may portend for the 2012 garden season so here's a rundown:

1. Bulbs are relatively safe because while their foliage has emerged, the flowers themselves are still below ground.

2. What is in at risk is the buds that are now forming. If old man winter makes a sudden late appearance, bringing with him a sudden drop in temperature, the plants will not have had sufficient time to harden off and the new buds will be killed off. That means that we might see less flower buds on our favorite plants this Spring.

3. Keeping that in mind, Fruit trees are especially susceptible which may mean that you can expect to see a rise in produce prices this year. Unfortunately, farmers are more affected by this weather than the home gardener.

4. Professionals are also concerned about increased insect activity this year due to the warmer temperatures and longer garden season.

5. I'm still concerned that bulbs which were planted in Fall will not be affected this year. I suspect that the warmer temperatures may not have provided the stratification that many bulbs require but that remains to be seen.

Besides that, it's all good. Nature has proven that she is more resilient than humans, after all. ;)

Happy Planting!!!!