Oklahoma springs to life

Oklahoma is springing to life all around us. Everything is running early this year and we still have a good three weeks to go until our average last freeze date for central Oklahoma. Hopefully we can avoid a real hard freeze and serious plant damage. The crocus, grape hyacinth and especially the daffodil bulbs have been gorgeous. The forsythia, quince and spirea flowering shrubs have produced spectacular mounds of color. The Bradford Pears, peaches, apricots, crabapples and our state tree, the redbud, have all been dressed out in there brightest colors. It is really special to see these trees, dormant all winter with their naked branches, stage their annual coming out party with their best showing of bright flowers even before unveiling any of their leaves or foliage. The march of spring color will proceed like a fine orchestra through the growing season as different plants flower at varying stages and temperatures as we go through the annual dance of the seasons. It is really fun to observe and add different plants to your yard as the years go by so that some plant is in the starring role or giving a special show or performance most every week. This variety and constantly changing show of color can really add excitement and beauty to your yard and enhance the joy and fun of spending time in your garden.

We are nearing the end of the season to plant cool season vegetables so if you have not yet planted your potatoes, onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce, the time is now. We really should wait on tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the warm blooded annuals like impatiens, penta, begonias, rose moss, marigolds, zinnias and most others until after our last average frost date around April 7. Mid April is a good time to go full speed on planting warm season crops. We are nearing the end of the season to apply pre-emergent weed killers for crabgrass and other summer weeds since pre-emergents only work before the weed seeds germinate. You must apply soon to get the most benefit. This is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs as you think of the future.

We have had some really gorgeous days that make it easy to quench your spring fever with some wonderful time outdoors. Hopefully you will get a chance to escape the news, finance and employment issues and spend some time in the yard where time marches on and the world is flowering and leafing out with new energy and the excitement of spring.

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