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Is Mother Nature Having Fun at the Expense of Our Spring Gardens?

Mother Nature must be enjoying playing games with us this year. We all know how fickle Ohio weather can be, but this year seems to be on a rollercoaster, with every other day bringing new high and low temperatures.  And if you think you are confused, just imagine what those spring bulbs are thinking as they begin peeping out of the ground.

The last few weeks have been remarkably warm here in Northeast Ohio, and life is anxious to get outside and show off. My garden has tulip leaves, and daffodil leaves almost 6 inches high.

Many wonder if we will lose the blooms and the bulbs will die. Fortunately, we don’t give nature much credit for its resiliency.

Bulbs planted in the fall will begin growing right away and will sprout. If the weather is warm enough, they will seek the heat and possibly peek through before their expected arrival. But don’t worry too much. The damage is minimal, and often just the tips of the leaves turn brown. The bulbs are hardy and quite adaptable to mother nature’s mood swings.

However, If you see flower stems reaching out beyond the base leaves, a layer of mulch may protect the stems and blooms from harm.

If warm weather continues ahead of the regular schedule, flowering trees and perennial fruit plants such as apple trees and grapevines may begin budding early. If this happens and we get a frost or freeze, it can damage the buds, losing part of the year’s crops. Yet if a plant or tree remains dormant, the cold will not harm them.

We like to imagine that Mother Nature has things all figured out. And maybe in the past, she did.

But unfortunately, humankind has made an indelible mark on this planet, and the repercussions create an uncertain and challenging future. We must wait and see what tomorrow holds and remember to take gloves, umbrellas, sunglasses, and a coat. Preparing for any weather is the best plan this year.

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