A Sprouting Problem With Warm Winter Weather
Anticipating a changed climate, in which warmer winter seasons like the one we’re experiencing here in the northeast become the norm, I wrote about the unexpected joy of continuing to garden through to the end of November. Now, on December 4, the grass is still green and the afternoons are still warm, even if the frosts are coming harder at night.
I asked a couple weeks ago, “Can the ability to do gardening tasks in what ought to be a time of winterlike weather be appropriately regarded as a benefit of climate change?”
Yesterday, I discovered one possible answer: Spring bulbs may not be able to handle the uncertainty. Daffodils and crocuses are sprouting through the ground, having had an initial bout of normal, prolonged cold in October, followed with a very warm November. The plants are taking energy from their bulbs to create nice, long greens that won’t have very long to take in new energy from the thin midwinter sun. Will their blooms suffer in the spring? Will they come at all?