Spwingter

Spwingter

by Jez Hall

The other day, as I trudged across the lawn to the log store, I noticed that the grass had not stopped growing since the "last cut of the season" way back in November. With all the mild weather we have had, the turf and weeds have just kept on doing their thing. Its only the fact the ground is so soft that has stopped me mowing it. My garden is on quite low level ground and is quite susceptible to water-logging, but I thought if the garden was on higher ground then mowing grass in January would be a reality for the first time ever. This thinking is borne out by mower sales which have continued steadily throughout the winter period - we have had quite a few people buying mowers for their other-halves as Christmas presents too!
I'm pretty sure that the lawn will survive any seasonably-abnormal "snowbomb" that might be on its way according to some national newspapers, but what about all these bulbs I can see poking up? Will a sudden frost or covering of snow kill the bulbs off, meaning no Spring Flowers this year?

A bit of research - thanks Mum - into this question has revealed that we don't need to worry too much. Bulbs react to the weather around them, and if they are starting to come up early there isn't much we can or should do; when bulbs grow in the wild, they would experience this same thing from time to time and would still flourish without intervention from any of us.

Sure, they may lose a bit of foliage during freezing temperatures, but this is not a problem for these bulbs and should not affect their flowering in the months to come. If this happens in wintertime, chances are that more cold weather is on its way so foliage will yellow and die back, returning the bulb to its "dormancy" period. This is completely normal and should just be allowed to happen.

Now if the weather continues to stay unseasonably warm, there is a chance that bulbs will begin to produce flower buds. If this happens, you could help to protect these buds by covering them with some dry leaves, straw, or even sawdust. Once the weather begins to warm and the threat of frost is gone, uncover the plants and allow them to continue to grow as normal. If some frost does manage to destroy any buds, is may still be possible for the bulb to produce additional flower buds at the proper time and then bloom as it normally should. Also, this one-time "frosting" will not have any adverse affect on the bulb's performance in the years to come.
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