Gardening Experts: Kill The Urge To Plant Too Soon

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) – This warm weather might cost people money if they’re not careful. Experts say the urge to get out in the garden like it’s spring could mean you’re buying plants that won’t make it to summer or pruning trees at the wrong time of year and that could kill them.

This time of year, people get tired of seeing dead leaves and dormant grass. It feels like spring, so folks want spring flowers.

But if you’re already making a list of the plants and bulbs you want to get into the ground, you might want to hang on for a few weeks.

First, it’s too late to plant bulbs, they need to be in the ground in the fall. And other types of plants may still die if you plant them now should we get another gold snap.

There are some heartier winter types like pansies that you can enjoy for a few months.

But experts say it’s a big mistake to let the warm weather fool you into watching the thermometer instead of the calendar.

“They will get spring fever,” Fort Worth Botanic Garden Senior Horticulturalist Steve Huddleston said of anxious gardeners. “But, again, I would just plant more pansies, snapdragons, maybe some alyssum. And then come March you can plant petunias and geraniums.

The Botanic Garden is taking advantage of the warm weather and leafless trees to prune limbs. But they’re being very careful about what they’re pruning.

Red Oaks and Live Oaks are strictly off limits.

Experts warn that from February 1 to June 1, conditions are ripe for spreading oak wilt. That can kill the tree because it’s a fungus spread by a beetle feeding on open oak wounds or by tools that have trimmed infected trees. And if you have a crepe myrtle, there’s one huge mistake to avoid.

“The number one mistake we see across the metroplex is what we call crepe murder,” Huddleston said. “And that’s when people tree surgeons even homeowners will cut crepe myrtles back to just stops don’t do that. A crepe myrtle should be allowed to grow into a tree form you should remove nothing larger than your small finger.”

There is one plant that’s good to trim this time of year, though. Rose bushes. A good rule of thumb is to remember Valentines Day is a day to trim your roses.

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