Early Spring Weather

Although it's only early March, we have been having beautiful, spring-like weather lately. In fact, quite a bit of the snow in our yard has melted, revealing a few surprises.

Our alpine strawberries, which I worried about all winter, appeared a bit flattened, but still green, with new growth appearing. In fact, they didn't look like they went dormant at all this winter. Now that their protective snow cover is gone, however, the heavy frosts at night are turning the leaves the brown and reddish colours we expected to see last fall. I'm hoping this damage doesn't hurt their chances of growing well this summer - they should be able to cope with the cold temperatures as long as their root systems are strong enough to regrow when the weather is a little more appropriate.

Alpine Strawberries

Our chives have also been trying to emerge for a few days. There are several shoots of green growth with brown ends that have also obviously been damaged by cold temperatures. Our creeping thyme, however, looks about the same as it did in the fall.

Creeping Thyme

Although it's exciting to see so much growth so early in the year, early warm weather followed by hard freezes can cause more "winter" damage than cold temperatures in the middle of winter do, since it is tender, new growth that is damaged. Although mulch should be pulled away from the stems of woody plants to prevent rot, it can be left on the soil to keep it cool and prevent plants from breaking dormancy too early.


  1. I feel exactly the same way. It's exciting to see the plants but in some ways, you just want the snow to stay on until we can guarantee some nice stable warm weather. That said, my alpines have suffered some extreme cold before without mulch and come through just fine. I'd say anything that hugs the warm earth should make it. Spring is definitely coming.

  2. There is still lots of snow here in Regina. It is melting at an agonisingly slow rate, although, as Ottawa Gardener notes above, snow cover does help until the temperatures warm up on a consistent basis. It must be wonderful, though, seeing your plants again.

  3. Yes, as nice as it has been to bask in the rays of the still too cold sun and see the snow creeping back from the southern exposures, I worry about the 'evergreen' plants that are being exposed. I wish I had kept a stash of fall leaves in the garage.

    Well, it is an El Nino year and my neighbour tells me that she can remember one or two early thaws that were not followed by weeks of hard freezes. Maybe we will get lucky this Spring.

  4. You're lucky! We still have lots of snow here. But it is starting to melt fast.


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