Temperatures in the 70’s in February have played a trick on plants, trees and lawns. Some trees are budding, lawns greening and perennial flowering plants starting to peak through the ground. Winter returns later this week and temperatures will drop back into the 20’s.
UNL Extension Educator John Fech says there are a few things you can do to help those flowering plants. He says when the temperatures drop to around the 30-degree mark, grab some mulch or wood chips and cover those emerging plants with about five inches of that material. Leave that in place until the temperatures get into the mid-30’s but leave it nearby as you may have to recover them as the temperatures drop again. He says there is a risk of frost in may parts of Nebraska until the first week in May.
Fech says there isn’t much you can do about fruit or other trees starting to show signs of budding now. He says for the most part those trees will grow back. The ones he is worried about are the ones planted in 2016 that don’t have a lot of reserve. Anything older than that should be fine down the road.