House & Home

Despite warmer days, still too early for gardens to bloom

Posted March 11, 2014 2:49 p.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2014 6:23 p.m. EDT

— 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?"