Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Early Riser

Breaking ground in late January
My daffodils seem to be popping up a little too early this year. Already about three inches high with flower buds forming.  I suspect that the mild winter is spurring their early development.  The high temp tomorrow, the first day of February, is expected to reach 52℉ in East Hampton.  

The Farmers' Almanac 2012 did predict above normal temperatures in the Northeast this winter.  This almanac was right on the mark last winter, accurately forecasting our heavy snowfall. So I guess we might as well get ready for an earlier gardening season this year.

I'll admit I'm ready for a little spring color even if spring is two months away.  In fact, I plant mostly early-blooming daffodils to help liven things up before everything else greens up in the spring.  However,  I never expected the cheerful trumpets this early.

I also like the early bloomers because they can be cleaned up before the summer garden gets under way.  Since photosynthesis still occurs in the daffodil leaves and spent stems after blooming (feeding the bulbs for next year),  you're not supposed to deadhead the declining foliage until it turns brown.  This year, they should be long gone before the rest of my garden wakes up.

Maybe I have the proper timing all wrong for these Narcissus.  The most conspicuous daffodils right now in the Hamptons Garden are named 'February Gold'.  And February does begin tomorrow.  It's probable that they were actually tardy in the past, stunted by cold and heavy snow.  Oh well, ready or not, here they come.

'February Gold' Narcissus blooming last April


Unknown said...

mine are up too! i'm worried about frost. i'm considering covering them up til march.

Jeff, Gardener in Chief said...

Daffodils are pretty hardy and easily survive freezing weather. I've even had some bloom with snow still on the ground. I don't think you need to cover up. They like sun once they pop up. The stems could get pale and weak if they don't get some sunshine.