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Beware of False Spring!

beware of False Spring
Beware of false spring.

As the weather starts to warm up in (our new) Zone 8 climate, you may be eager to get started on your spring planting. However, it's important to be aware of the possibility of false spring. False spring occurs when there is a period of warm weather, followed by a sudden cold snap. This can be devastating for plants that have already started to bloom and grow.

False spring can be particularly dangerous for fruit trees, as the early growth can be killed off by frost. This can impact the fruit production for the entire year. Other plants that are vulnerable to false spring include early-blooming perennials and cool-season vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. However, there is usually no need to cover early blooming bulbs, as they are on nature's calendar and can handle the temperature fluctuations.

To protect your garden from false spring, it's important to pay attention to weather patterns and forecasts. If there is a warm spell followed by a sudden drop in temperature, take steps to protect your plants. Covering them with blankets or other protective materials can help keep them warm and prevent damage from frost. Avoid using sheets of plastic or trash bags as they can cause more damage when the sun comes up and creates a hot spot.

Another way to protect your garden from false spring is to choose plants that are more resistant to cold weather. Look for varieties that are known to be hardy and can withstand fluctuations in temperature. If you are itching to get in the garden and plant, consider winter-blooming plants such as hellebores, edgeworthia, & forsythia.

In addition to being aware of false spring, it's important to make sure your garden is prepared for the upcoming season. This includes pruning back any damaged or dead branches, adding organic fertilizers and compost to the soil, and making sure your irrigation system is in good working order.

By taking precautions and being aware of the risks of false spring, you can help ensure a successful and healthy growing season for your garden. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can help your plants thrive and enjoy the beauty of spring in North Carolina.


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