“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.
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.