Early spring blooms in jeopardy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Early spring blooms in jeopardy

(Photo courtesy Flickr) (Photo courtesy Flickr)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

If you've been out and about in the Tri-State, chances are you've seen a lot of pretty flowers already showing.
 
While it's not unheard of to see this, blooming is definitely occurring earlier than usual this season. This is due to the second warmest February in Cincinnati history and continued mild temperatures so far this March.

Most flowers can withstand temperatures in the upper 20s for a couple of hours without too many problems. If temperatures fall below that though or remain below freezing for too long, the blooms won't survive.
 
That will be a problem in the coming days. Beginning Saturday morning, low temperatures will be in the low to mid 20s all the way through next Thursday morning.
 
There is still hope for flower fans though. While current blooms will die, we’ll see more blooms later this spring if the plant still has closed buds. "If part of the plant is in bloom and there are still tight buds, the buds that are still tight will continue to open and flower as normal after the frost. But if it's in full bloom and it's already started to open, the frost will kill the blooms for this year," said Al Funke, the owner of Funke’s Greenhouses.
 
If you want to protect those plants that have already bloomed, before Friday night, go cover them with a blanket, bed sheet, or light sleeping bag. Plastic bags will not work.
 
If you're anxious to start gardening, there are some frost resistant plants you can go ahead and plant now. Ask about them at your local nursery.
 
If you're wanting to plant those summer time flowers and vegetables though, hold off. The average date of our last freeze in Cincinnati is April 16. After April 16, monitor the forecast. If there aren't any signs of lows in the mid 30s in the seven day forecast, it's likely safe to start planting.

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