New Eng­land’s win­ter pushes back gar­den­ing sea­son

The China Post - - LIFE - BY LISA RATHKE

The his­toric bar­rage of snow and cold that struck New Eng­land this win­ter has pushed back the gar­den­ing sea­son and left be­hind dam­aged bushes, trees and green­houses — and gar­den­ers clam­or­ing to get their hands in the dirt.

The grow­ing sea­son is one to two weeks be­hind sched­ule af­ter a win­ter that lacked the usual mid­sea­son thaw and kept the snow pil­ing up.

In Bos­ton, where 108.6 inches (275.8 cen­time­ters) of snow broke a two-decade-old record, the first of the cro­cuses were show­ing this week and daf­fodils were just break­ing ground. Typ­i­cally those flow­ers would al­ready be in full bloom, said John Forti, hor­ti­cul­tural direc­tor for the Mas­sachusetts Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety.

“I’ve never been so elated to see brown dirt in my life as I was this spring,” he said.

While the blan­kets of snow in- su­lated and pro­tected plants and roots from win­ter win­ters, the weight of it broke off tree branches, dam­aged green­houses and crushed bushes as it fell off roofs, mean­ing ex­tra work in ad­di­tion to a late start.

The good news is that the wa­ter ta­ble is up sig­nif­i­cantly, a boon for plants re­cov­er­ing from the tough win­ter and as­saults from hun­gry crit­ters.

“They will need that ad­di­tional ground wa­ter to re­bound quickly,” Forti said.

This win­ter’s bit­ter cold also took its toll. In Ver­mont, where both Mont­pe­lier and Rut­land en­dured their cold­est Fe­bru­ar­ies on record, gar­den­ers may no­tice dieback on or­na­men­tal plants, par­tic­u­larly trees like evergreens.

“Our ex­pec­ta­tion is that we will see cus­tomers com­ing back with a myr­iad of prob­lems with burn on their plants,” said Carol MacLeod, of Ev­er­green Gar­dens of Ver­mont in Water­bury Cen­ter, which sells trees, shrubs, peren­ni­als and an­nu­als. “Not nec­es­sar­ily dead but dieback, brown­ing of evergreens, that sort of thing.”

Prun­ing will be a de­sired skill this spring to help plants re­cover. Since dif­fer­ent plants have dif­fer­ent plants, trees and shrubs, have dif­fer­ent prun­ing needs, ex­perts rec­om­mend tak­ing a class or re­fer­ring to in­struc­tional videos or books.


Anne Stoma spreads mulch on an herb gar­den at Elm Bank in Welles­ley, Mas­sachusetts on Thurs­day, April 16.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.