After almost no spring in 2011, we’re set up to have one of the longest springs on record here in Mid-Michigan. This is due to the 3 weeks of June temps we had in March, and then a return to normal, cool temps on April 1.
A couple weeks ago, Paul Reder and Nick Felice shared a video about our early spring from their perspective being in the field daily and seeing many clients already this spring. And now, you have probably noticed our early spring blooms are hanging on 2x or 3x normal (which has been really nice), and at the same time we’re seeing many flowers bloom that we usually wouldn’t see until late April or early May. See neighborhood blooms in picture gallery below.
Unfortunately, the weather has had negative affects on many industries this spring, such as agriculture, fruit production, and likely some tourism. For example, Traverse City has had 7-8 frosts since the cherry blossoms bloomed, significantly damaging this year’s crop. Sadly, lower Michigan supplies over 80% of the entire U.S. cherry crop.
Another example… the tulips in Holland are already in bloom and are in danger of being gone before the Tulip Festival in early May, potentially affecting attendance and the tourism industry there.
But, here in Mid-Michigan, we’ve been lucky. We haven’t had severe freezing due to the North East winds off the Bay, and in Midland, specifically, we’ve been further protected by our beautiful tree canopy, even though it isn’t fully leafed out.
We aren’t out of the woods yet, however. Local apple farms are still at risk. And, the possibility of frost (i.e. temps in the low 20’s) in the forecast keeps all of us in the agriculture, landscaping, and other industries on edge.
Our TOP 3 TIPS at this time are:
- COVER – Continue covering young plants lush with new growth if there is a frost warning. Also consider covering established plants known for their foliage like Hosta before a hard freeze. Although the plant won’t die the new leaves may be damaged and you will lose a season of beautiful foliage. Low thirties is tolerable for plants, but low twenties is not.
- WATER: Water new plants and lawns as it is currently surprisingly dry and new plants need moisture!
- BE PATIENT: Look out to May 20 – Memorial Day as “safe planting” time for annual plants, and plants brought in from southern states which are even more “ahead of a normal’ Michigan spring. Don’t get fooled by the current weather and lured into planting early. We’ve been talking with many experts, who are all advising this time frame.
Meanwhile enjoy the cool days, as they are giving way to sustaining the beauty of spring much longer than normal.
Getting anxious to plant this year? So are we! Be sure to visit our service pages if you need help with plants and/or planting.