Any Sign of Spring?
JACKSONTOWN – There finally may be light at the end of the tunnel. Warmer temperatures are melting this winter’s seemingly impenetrable snow cover, and some ambitious flowers are even starting to poke their heads from the ground.
Megan Ehrmin, Dawes Arboretum’s display gardens manager, said this year’s heaps of snow are actually helpful to gardeners because they acted as insulation to keep the soil from freezing. “There was never a complete freeze,” she said. “The snow shouldn’t deter anyone from a successful garden.” There will be places, however, where the soil is completely saturated with water from melting snow, which may affect some perennials’ growth, said Ehrmin. And, there still may be more freezing and thawing of soil. She suggested some plants that grow well in wet conditions: amsonia (a native shrub-like perennial with blue flowers—“It’s pretty,” said Ehrmin), monarda, hostas, ferns, carex, astilbe, Echinacea, mints, hibiscus, and eupatorium.
Here’s one people may not know, said Ehrmin. Vegetable gardeners can literally sprinkle some seeds over the snow and they’ll plant themselves as the snow melts. Spinach and peas are particularly good examples. Onions are also good to plant early in the season, she said.