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Despite warmer days, still too early for gardens to bloom

Posted March 11, 2014

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— The spring-like weather that has warmed the Triangle this week has many people ready to start buzzing around their gardens and yards, but experts say it's still too cold to start planting for colorful summer flowers.

"People are so tired of winter. They are ready for it to be over. They want color," Gail Ingram, a landscape designer with Logan Trading Company in Raleigh, said Tuesday. "It's too early for the summer flowers. Those probably won't show up for probably another four to six weeks."

Ingram recommended that people itching for a gardening fix opt for shrubs or produce, such as spinach, arugula or broccoli. They can also start preparing flower beds by adding soil conditioner and laying down fresh mulch.

"If you want to plant today and want something quick and sweet, you can still do pansies," she said. "They will last for another two months before it starts getting too warm for them. Then, you can switch out to summer annuals."

When temperatures drop later this week, however, any pansies will need to be covered overnight.

Melissa McReynolds said she enjoyed the opportunity to start thinking about working outdoors again after a long winter.

"It's makes you happy just to see the flowers in bloom and enjoy the smell, the sun and just be out," McReynolds said. "I'm buying peppers because I make pepper jelly and I want something really hot. Trinidad scorpion sounds pretty good, don't you think?"


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  • My24cents Mar 12, 2014

    What? I've never covered a pansy in my life! I don't know how they've survived but they have!

  • Bryan Ayers Mar 12, 2014
    user avatar

    Too early to bloom? Someone forgot to tell the flowers in my yard...

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 11, 2014

    Yep, it's always April 1st at our house. Mother Nature often plays tricks on us up til then.

  • lwe1967 Mar 11, 2014

    It's a shame. Looking forward to those beautiful blooms!

  • luvstoQ Mar 11, 2014

    I can keep pansies all fall, winter and into spring. They don't 'need' covering for the coming freeze this week. They freeze, but just right on going! ;-)

    Also, there are lots of spring bulbs already blooming. I have daffodils, crocus, baby iris, and tulips almost ready to bloom.

  • Arthur Raleigh Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Bazinga! Wait!!

  • Don Dickerson Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Oldest rule there is in this part of the state: Oct15 to Apr15. Frost can be expected at any time betwixt the two.

  • Olenc Native Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Cool weather veggies:

    Peas, radish, lettuce, carrots, spinach, beets, chard, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage.

    Kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts are best saved for the fall planting season.

  • Ijaz Fahted Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    I guess the author of this piece forgot to tell the flowers that it's too early. I've seen plenty of flowers and other plants blooming even before the last snow/ice/rain storm.