Spring-flowering bulbs start to surface
by Marie Nesmith
Feb 11, 2014 | 1956 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Bartow Countians continue to brace for winter precipitation this week, signs of spring are starting to emerge.

“[My daffodils] are up several inches,” said Jo Ann Dorsey, president of the Magnolia Garden Club. “I’ve got some extra pine straw. I might go throw some pine straw on them just for good measure. [At the Northwest Georgia Home & Garden Show], we did talk about [the fact] that this has been the most unusual cold weather this year. So I don’t know, I think [the blooms] will probably be delayed, if I had to guess. But I don’t think it will kill them because they’re pretty hardy. I remember [in] 1993 when the big blizzard came, mine were actually blooming in March. After all the snow and ice and stuff left they perked their little heads up and just kept on going.

“... I love spring. It’s my favorite time of the year. [My garden looks] like a little piece of heaven. I just love seeing all the new growth and the different shades of green and the little flowers that come early. I’m always out there every day looking to see because it changes so frequently in the springtime.”

While the foliage of flowering bulbs, such as hyacinth and daffodils, may seem delicate during the winter months, Bartow County Master Gardeners emphasize the plants are tougher than they look.

“We’re in Kingston. My daffodils are only up like 2 inches and I have no blooms at all,” Bartow County Master Gardener Kate Posey said. “So I don’t think the snow or the cold or anything [else] will impact [these plants]. ... I guess [people whose plants have bloom buds] could go out and protect them with a cloth or a blanket or something like that but then you’d have to remember to take it off ... [because] it would be attracting the heat. So it would probably cause more damage.

“I noticed the last time we had the snow they were saying the snow actually provides an insulating layer to plants. It really doesn’t cause damage. It just delays them a little bit.”

Echoing the previous gardeners’ comments, Bartow County Master Gardener Venia Etta McJunkin also believes the bulbs’ foliage will weather the winter storm.

“I was out yesterday in my back garden and the bulbs are beginning to pop out. But no blooms — no evidence of [daffodil] blooms in my yard yet,” McJunkin said. “... I think that cold snap, that severe, severe weather that we had here a few weeks ago is holding things back and I don’t think anything has popped up that will be damaged by what we’re fixing to have.

“It seems to be in my years of experience if we have a really bad spell around Valentine’s Day that that seems to be when things begin to turn and spring really begins to show signs of coming out. ... Those blooms can take freezing weather. It just depends on how bad and how long it lasts as to how much damage will be done. But those little jonquils and daffodils are pretty tough.”

For more information regarding spring gardening, contact the Bartow County Extension Office at 770-387-5142.