46February 22, 2018

It’s not Spring! In all my years, Spring has never arrived in February. As a matter of fact, the official first day of Spring arrives in March and that day usually is not spring type of weather. As I write this column, the weather forecasters predict that Wednesday’s high temperature may be near 70 degrees. But if you watch the forecast for the rest of the week, the high temperatures will be in the 40’s. Enjoy the warm weather, but don’t be lulled into thinking that February warmth means that spring has arrived.

I can’t fault people for wanting to get outside and do something related to gardening. Part of the problem is that the soil is still very wet. If you went outside and decided to rake the lawn, the action of raking with wet soil may allow the raking to pull up much of the grass in the lawn. If you wait a bit for the ground to dry out, you can do any raking without damage to the lawn. If you are looking for something to do, you can go out and pick up any sticks or branches off the lawn. If you didn’t finish up with cutting back the perennials, you could be doing that at this point in the season. Just make sure that the soil has dried enough that the act of walking on the soil doesn’t pack down the soil. Remember that the brown blades of your ornamental grasses need to be cut back before the new growth begins to show in the spring. Otherwise, the dried grass with new green grass growing up through the brown blades will visually look horrible.

Just remember that you can do some work in the yard but you need to wait until the soil dries out a bit to prevent damage to the grass or the other plants in your yard.

Every year about this time, people will come into the store and tell me that they are worried about the spring flowering bulbs that are planted in the yard. The main concern is that the bulbs are starting to push up new growth. People are concerned that the cold weather will kill the growth and possibly even the bulb itself. This is a pretty normal thing for the spring flowering bulbs to do. For instance, if you have crocus bulbs in your yard, they will often flower in March. It makes sense that the bulbs need time to put out the leafy growth before the flowers come out. Often in late February or early March, the daffodil bulbs will begin to put up shoots. This is normal for them because they tend to flower in early April. Think of this phenomenon as a sign that the bulbs know that spring is on the way.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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