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Warm weather has residents ready for planting

Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 9:14 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:22 p.m. CST
(Heidi Litchfield –
Daffodils bloom in the front yard of Ann West on Lisbon Road in Morris.
(Heidi Litchfield –
Magnolia blossoms are starting to open up on the trees at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Morris as spring finally arrives to Grundy County.

Spring is in the air and with warmer than normal temperatures over Easter weekend, many people are itching to get into their yards and flower beds in anticipation of summer after a colder-than-average winter.

"March was much colder than average this year," Ricky Castro with the National Weather Service in Romeoville said. "Any warm weather now, and the plants are waiting to erupt."

Kim Bush, nursery manager at That Perennial Place in Morris, said the freezing cold temperatures this past winter have had some affects on local plants.

"Evergreens took a big hit this year," Bush said. "The freezing cold temperatures and the wind caused a lot of [tips to die back]"

She said even the spring flowers, such as tulips and daffodils, are behind schedule for blooming.

Ann West of Morris has bright yellow bursts of color throughout her yard as her daffodils are in full bloom, but she hasn't seen any hint of color from her tulips or hyacinths, which just have their leaves showing.

"Last year they were done blooming before we got home from Florida," West said. "This year, not nearly as many are blooming, and we just had Easter."

Bush said plants are about one to two weeks behind in their budding, including trees in the area.

Castro said the late budding is beneficial to our temperatures as less shade covers the ground, the earth is able to warm up quicker now that the sun is shining.

"We won't see full leaf out until May," Castro said. "This helps it warm up with less shade in wooded areas."

John and Mary Roth of Lemont were shopping for flowers at That Perennial Place Monday and said they noticed the lack of buds in their Japanese Elm, which is typically budded by now.

With some possibility of cooler temperatures at night, Bush said that typically the only flowers being planted right now are pansies and violas in this area, with other flowers going in the ground around Mother's Day in May.

Even though the Roths were purchasing petunias, they'll hold off putting them in the ground until then.

"I've been buying baskets at Goodwill for $1 and planting pansies and marigolds in them right now," John said. "I also planted tulip bulbs in containers last fall, but only one is growing out of the four pots I planted."

Castro said April is slightly dry for Grundy County, despite the snow we had in April.

"Over Grundy County we are showing it slightly dryer than average, but nothing drastic," Castro said. "We have a chance of above normal precipitation in May."

With the warmer weather, Bush said it's now a good time to get trees and shrubs planted to take advantage of the spring rains, but if the weather continues to stay dry people need to water fresh plantings.

"It's a great time to plant, there is less stress from heat," Bush said. "You'll have to water more right now, even with the snow we had it was so dry last year that the water tables are still getting built back up."

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