Hard to Resist

“Hard to Resist”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

As I have been reporting, the weather here has really warmed up.  Spring has arrived even though “official” spring is still weeks away.  Yesterday, I took a day off from work and, with the temperature reaching 61 degrees, was able to work in the garden.  It was a wonderful afternoon.- sunny, cool, light breeze.  I was able to rake up the pine needles in the back lawn, use the pine straw as mulch, and even had some time to pull weeds.  It was great just getting outside and spending the time in the garden.

There is one bad thing about having this early warm up, and that is the desire to plant the warm season annuals.  When the temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s and the days are sunny, it is hard to resist all those impatiens, wax leaf begonias and other annuals that are already showing up in the nurseries and big box stores.  Since it feels like spring, it must be spring, right.

Too early to plant this impatien

Too early to plant this impatien

It is hard to resist buying all those colorful flowers, but I have to.  Even though the air temperatures are high, the ground is still too cold for these warm season babies.  With the soil still being cold, they would not do well at all and would probably have to be replaced in April.  If planted too early, these annuals seem to be subject to root rot, fungus problems or just never seem to grow well.  This is a little surprising because many of these annuals are really tender perennials for us and will overwinter.  The ones that overwinter don’t seem to be subject to any of these problems, I guess, because they have acclimated to the colder soil and are not now actively growing, while the new ones have been hot house grown and fertilized regularly.

I probably will succumb to the allure of the flats of blooming annuals a little earlier than I should, but I will hold off planting any of them until the middle of March at the earliest.  (I will just keep them in a sunny spot until it is time to plant.)  I tell myself that you have to buy them when you see them because they might not be around when you are ready to plant.  I also rationalize the purchases by telling myself that if I want a certain color of annual flower, I better get them when I see them because they, too, might not be around when I am ready to put them in the garden.

Today, my sister and I are going on our first garden field trip of the year.  We plan on hitting several out of town nurseries.  Since I have been slowly adding more flowering shrubs and perennials, that is what I am looking for.  When we go out this early in the season, it is very hard not to buy everything in sight.  We are so anxious to get out in the garden and dig.  Because we are so desperate to start gardening, I sure hope the nurseries don’t have out the warm season annuals yet, I don’t know if I will be able to resist.


  1. Jon said,

    February 21, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Go on and get ’em while the getting is good. I have learned to do that this time of year and bring flats or potted plants home and put them in a sheltered spot to acclimate and harden off until it is warm enough to plant them. I learned long ago that it must be some sort of weird Murphy’s Law of Gardening that if you don’t buy a plant upon first impulse upon seeing it at a nursery it will NOT be there when you go back later to get it. It proves the truth in that cliche “the early bird gets the worm”.
    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    • Jan said,

      February 21, 2009 at 6:30 am

      Okay, Jon. I need very little encouragement.

  2. tina said,

    February 21, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I think you are right to buy the annuals now. It is hard not to resist but don’t plant them too early. We all do though:) You guys are much earlier than us. We are only now getting in the cool season crops.

  3. Janet said,

    February 21, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Good morning Jan, I love a good garden nursery field trip. I also want to buy early and quite often end up buying later than I should because I was waiting to see what else pops up out of the ground. I have such a mix of annuals that reseed and perennials that I may not need to add anything. …but I always do. Enjoy your out of town nurseries!

  4. Randy said,

    February 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

    What Jon said is SOOOOO true. It’s happens to me all the time. I think you are doing much better temperature wise than we are.

  5. February 21, 2009 at 8:50 am

    How wonderful Jan to hear about the progress of spring. We have had a beautiful winter day today with snow and sunshine, I actually walk home from work today, a brisk 40 min. walk and it was just lovely.
    Lovely also to hear about your first garden field trip…and hitting several nurseries sound like great fun and veeery expensive 🙂


  6. Tatyana said,

    February 21, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Those nurseries would love seeing you and your sister. Have a great time! I can’t wait for our chance to go shopping. So far, there are just primulas and daffodills for us here in the NW.

  7. February 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Morning, Jan. Those impatiens look like Jasmine. Hope they find a place in your garden soon. Good luck with your field trip.

  8. donna said,

    February 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    How lucky you are to be visiting the greenhouses/nurseries with your sister. I have one sister that lives not too far away but she’s not much interested in gardening. Hope you and Sister also stopped for a bite to eat and or/coffee. Tell us where you went and what you saw.

  9. Brenda Kula said,

    February 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Well, I haven’t been able to resist! I’ve spent the last two days out buying them!

  10. February 21, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Go ahead and buy them and then show us so we can drool. Gardeners in NC always buy early and then regret it. I’m going to do my best to hold off also. But I understand the desire!

  11. Isaac said,

    February 22, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I just planted some impatiens yesterday.

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