Thats a headline youd expect to see in spring or summer. But with the weather weve been having, there are things blooming in my garden!
I first noticed the lavender blossoms last week. This week, yarrow (even the native variety) and leatherleaf viburnum started blooming. Every summer, sprouts appear from the black oil sunflower seeds I feed the birds. Several seeds have sprouted this past week.
I always wait to plant bulbs until after the first snow melts. There have been a few years when the weather was cold but dry and I broke that rule. With grape hyacinths coming up, Ill continue to wait to plant bulbs so they arent tempted to bloom out of season. If we dont have cold weather soon, I may have to store them in the refrigerator and plant them outside in spring!
This week, I inspected all the shrubs in my yard and only one looks like the leaf buds are beginning to open. If the buds do open, any subsequent cold weather will most likely kill the tender leaves. However, the plant should survive as long as some buds arent killed.
Fruit trees need a certain number of hours of cold below 45 degrees in order to bloom and bear fruit. Their flower buds are actually formed in the late summer or fall and cold weather causes the buds to go into dormancy until spring. When the cold weather doesnt arrive, dormancy is delayed and thus, delayed flowering in spring and delayed or deficient fruit production in summer.
On the other hand, trees could end up blooming so early that spring frosts kill the blossoms.
When choosing fruit trees for the home garden, the Master Gardener handbook has a chapter on choosing and growing fruit trees. Certain varieties of trees need a certain number of hours of cold weather. Choosing a variety that needs more cold than we have (or far less) would result in poor or no fruit production.
You can view the Master Gardener handbook section on fruit tree selection at: www.extension.uidaho.edu/mg/resources/handbook/MGH22.pdf.
If you have fruit trees, be aware that the current mild weather may affect fruit production next summer.
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