Don't Let the Temps Trick Your Tulips

Prevent premature bulb growth with evergreen branches.

The wide variance in weather this winter has confused some plants. While people know it's January, despite the frequent sun and balmy temperatures in which many of us took a New Year's Day walk, plants can't read a calendar.

While plants are reported to calculate their calendar by length of day, many are still fooled by 50-60 degree temperatures in January, only to be harshly punished for pulling out their summer attire by a nasty 10 degree reality check. The end result: bulbs such as daffodils and tulips that prematurely push through the soil and grow during the unusually warm winter days will probably not flower in the spring.

To avoid this fate, try layering on extra mulch now, even to those already peaking their heads above the ground. An alternative to traditional much, that is readily available to many right now, is pine boughs.

Instead of , cut the branches off and layer them on top of underground bulbs or any other plant you are concerned will grow before it is time. (If you followed the with your other bulbs, you'll remember just where they are right now!)

This extra blanket will insulate the frozen ground from warm weather, ensuring precocious plants know it is still winter. When spring is the real deal, take off their evergreen coats so they may revel in the warmth.

As always, happy growing!



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