Downside To Unusually Warm Winter Weather? Confused Plants

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The warm weather the Pittsburgh area is seeing is the perfect antidote to cabin fever.

Seems like there’s no downside. But is there?

What about your plants and trees? They might think it’s really spring.

“Don’t panic” is the advice of Doug Oster, home and garden editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“The biggest concern that people have, and I’ve been hearing from a lot of them, their bulbs are sprouting up,” said Oster. “The good news and the bad news is – nothing we can do about it.”

Snowdrops and snow crocuses in Oster’s yard have already bloomed and won’t be bothered when cold weather returns.

But what about more common flowers?

“The daffodils and tulips, really nothing to worry about now,” said Oster. “They’re just kind of peaking up and saying is it spring yet? If those buds haven’t come up, there’s nothing to worry about.”

However, if some daffodils do have buds, Oster says they could be damaged when the cold comes back. Nevertheless, his advice is: “You’re going to do more damage by trying to cover something than just letting them go.”

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He showed KDKA some buds on a rose bush, too. But again, he says no reason to worry, at least not yet.

“If we get 60s and 70s for another week, that’s when I’m going to start to sweat a little bit,” said Oster. “If we start to see buds really swell or things actually open up, that could be problematic.”

Oster tells the “KDKA Morning News” for those excited to start treating their lawn, not so fast.

“[It’s] way too early to be treating to the lawn. [It’s] way too early to be digging anything in the vegetable garden. Any soil that you disturb now, it’s too wet, it’s going to dry into this clump [and] it’s going to be cement-like and it’s going to be a disaster for the rest of the season,” he said.

Oster adds we are still a “good month” away from being able to do any serious gardening and that now is a good time to clean up any debris in the yard.

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