So we came back from Hilton Head SC yesterday to find that Spring has sprung here in Zone 6b! It was really spring in the south though, the trees were leafing and flowers were everywhere! It was interesting to notice how the presence of Spring slowly faded as we made our drive north. Granted, you wouldn’t have known it by the temperatures. In spots it was 26C but consistently around 23C the whole way home. Even as we crossed the boarder at 11:30pm, it was still an amazing 14C.
The Forsythia and daffs were in full bloom as far north as Pittsburg PA and many small shrubs were leafing out as well. However, here, sandwiched between Lakes Ontario and Erie, it isn’t AS springy. Driving around the neighborhood, I noted that we should have daffs and forsythias here by next weekend. I can’t really complain, we typically don’t have daffs and forsythia into early April! We’re well ahead of schedule!
Just as an aside, the lakes can have a huge impact on temperatures here in Niagara. My parents live in a town 35 minutes west of here and because of lake breeze, they didn’t get above 8C today, here in Niagara Falls, we topped out at 23C.
Okay, enough about the flowers and the temperatures… its time to take about Sarracenia. When the days get consistently milder, its time to uncover the bogs. When the uncover happens fluctuates from year to year according to the weather. This year is one of the earliest uncovers. Typically, it would be closer to the end of March. I know its still possible to get a frost or two, but at this point, its better to keep the plants exposed and cool, as opposed to covered and warm. I want them to stay dormant for as long as possible. Keeping them covered will encourage them to break dormancy. It’s also important to get the pine needles off in order to improve air circulation, with the warm days, cool nights and no air circulation, fungus and mold can set it! NOT GOOD.
So today, I uncovered the bogs!
It was amazing to see how good all the plants looked this season! As I noted in previous posts, we had a VERY mild winter here this year. I took a quick look at the weather data and noted that from December 1 to today, we have had 13 days with daytime highs that were below 0C, at that, most were only a degree or two below. The nights were equally as mild… we also had only 3 snowfalls this winter where the snow accumulated and in most cases it melted within a few days! Winter was very gentle on the plants this year.
If you remember I played “Johnny Appleseed” last spring and dumped a whole pile of Venus Flytrap seed into the bogs. If you look carefully, you can see that the seedlings survived just fine! So I guess it is safe to say that Venus Flytraps can seed and reproduce successfully here in this climate.
I guess I can say that the 2012 season of Zone6b has officially started. I can’t wait to see how the plants do this year after the transplant into the new bog gardens last year.