Winter Weather Impacting Gardening

Winter Weather Impacting Gardening
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Spring is only 8 days away but this week, it may not feel that way. You may see the impact of the sporadic temperatures in your garden this year.
” It ‘ s my passion, ” says Mary Bell as she shows off her gardens.
The avid gardener puts a lot of time and energy into making her 2 acres of land in Carl Junction beautiful.
” I have 15 different gardens, I have over 500 irises with hybridizer names, I also grow other things I have hostas, I have pansies out right now, daffodils, crocuses, ” she says.
Some of her flowers have already bloomed but her real passion, her irises, aren’t expected until May. She ‘ s concerned that this year’s warmer weather could change that.
” There are some flowers that require cold weather and the irises do. We haven’t had enough of that this year so I don’t know how the bloom stage is going to be but I hope they turn out good, ” says Bell.
Trees, plants and flowers are at the mercy of Mother Nature and this year, it seems seasons have mixed. Colder weather is on the way after a few weekends in the 80 ‘ s.
” Nature has a way of coming right back and evening things out so remember, if it ‘ s getting warm early, it will be cooler later, ” says Robert Balek, a horticulture specialist at the University of Missouri Extension.
The warmer weather that we were experiencing caused some flowers to bloom 4 to 6 weeks early and that change in temperature will actually slow down the metabolism in some flowers, meaning that they’ll be bloomed longer. But, the change in weather won’t have the same impact on some other flowers and trees.
” Some of them, which bear fruit, are going to be harmed by the freeze. We’re looking for possibly up to 90 percent fruit loss on peaches, apples, blueberries, strawberries, even some blackberries, ” says Balek.
He adds the best thing gardeners can do is cover their plants during the freeze.
Bell doesn’t cover hers but says she’s had a few bad blooms but always hopes for the best.
” You ‘ re elated to know that you at least have something to help beautify the world and I ‘ ve always said that ‘ s my cup of tea, ” says Bell.
Balek says people really shouldn’t start their gardening until it is past the frost free date. On average that’s around April 15. While this year isn’t average, he says the last date that its ever frosted in this area is May 10.