As if the lack of rain is not serious enough, the lack of cool winter weather will also cause problems for gardening. Warmth is certainly not as bad as drought, and makes gardening and other outdoor activities more pleasurable, but it interferes with the schedules and cycles that we and the flora in our gardens rely on. Something as natural as the weather should not be so unnatural.
The earlier unseasonably cold weather convinced plants that it really was winter. The problem is that the weather then turned unseasonably warm, and has stayed this warm long enough for plants to believe that it is spring! Some established (not freshly planted) narcissus and daffodils that should bloom as winter ends are already blooming, and some that are naturalized where they get no supplemental watering are already fading from the lack of moisture.
Buds of dormant roses are not staying so dormant, and may soon pop and start to grow. Buds of dormant fruit trees could do the same. When the rain finally starts, it will likely damage and spread disease among freshly exposed rose foliage and newly developing buds. Fungal and bacterial diseases that get an early start will likely proliferate more than they normally do through the following spring. Rain can likewise damage and dislodge fruit blossoms.
The many plants in the garden fortunately have a remarkable capacity for adaptation to weird weather. Bulbs, roses, fruit trees and other plants should eventually recover and get on with life as if nothing happened. The weather is actually more of a problem to those of us who want an early and healthy abundance of roses and an abundance of fruit in summer.
It is still a bit too early to know how the weather will affect what happens in the garden this spring, but fruit production of many types of fruit, as well as bloom of some types of flowers is expected to be inhibited.
2 thoughts on “Good Weather Can Be Bad”
This is happening to us for the third winter in a row. It’s not that it’s not cold–it’s that our overnight lows are ridiculously above average. They should be in the upper teens this time of year–all week they’ve been in the upper 20s instead and this morning it’s 34!
What then happens is just what you predict. Our plants–and worse, our birds–get all off schedule. And then we have very late freezes which damage (if they don’t outright kill) developing plants. Not sure what happens to the starlings which are already here and normally don’t arrive until March!
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This is an old article that was recycled, but the topic is relevant every few years or so. Actually, it is rather warm presently, even though winter had been about ‘normal’ until recently. This is likely more of a concern in other climates that are not as mild as ours, including yours.