CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Even though winter is still dragging on officially another couple of weeks, we’re already seeing signs of spring.
Flowers outside the Mahoning County Extension office are in full bloom while others are sprouting out of the ground. OSU Extension Agent Eric Barrett said this new growth should be safe even though nighttime frost is in the forecast.
“We’re still going to see those crocuses that are growing are going to keep on moving forward. The tulips that are coming out are going to keep moving along, but they are going to move along very slowly,” he said.
Barrett says this area typically has a 60-day growing season, but the current conditions may actually help extend that time.
“We won’t have any temperatures about 50, so that will really slow down those accumulations of growing-degree days, which put those plants in a holding pattern for a little bit of time,” he said.
Flowering plants should be able to withstand these next few weeks of nighttime freezing temperatures, but it could mean trouble for fruit tree growers.
Tim Parks with Parks Garden Center has a couple of young pear trees that already have buds on them, some with flowers. Parks said the buds will probably be OK, but the flowering ones are vulnerable.
“The further they are along, the more susceptible,” he said.
Straw or mulch could help protect young plants and keep the ground warm around them as long as we are not seeing freezing conditions into late April.
“If everything else that’s coming up right now, this part of early March, I’d say you need to let Mother Nature run its course,” Parks said.