The calendar says that Saturday is the first official day of spring, and many flower beds in Pella are already showing their signs of a new season, as some of the tulips have already begun pushing through. But is it too soon for the tulips to be arriving? Sherryl Nunnikhoven with Dutch Meadows Garden Center in Pella says that different varieties of tulips push through at different times of the spring, and says gardeners should not be concerned. Nunnikhoven adds that even with another spell of winter weather in the forecast, the flowers should be able to survive the cold conditions.
“Tulips are really pretty tough, and they can take a lot of cold weather,” says Nunnikhoven. “The biggest thing with the tulips that start to come up now [is] if you’re in an area where you have problems with deer, you’re going to want to get some spray on there. Those deer have been eating bark and woody stuff all winter and when they see fresh growth coming up, they’re going to want to eat it. So get yourself a good liquid repellent and spray it on once a week as the new growth emerges to keep deer and other animals from chewing off the tops of the plants.”
Nunnikhoven adds that other spring flowers and plants may be starting to sprout as well, but encourages gardeners to resist the temptation to uncover their flower beds and gardens, and instead allow the plant material on top of the soil to continue to insulate and protect the young plants below the surface.