April Fooled: Spring snowstorm a nightmare for local gardens
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; Two weeks ago along Lakeshore and Tahoe boulevards, many spring flowers started appearing. The bright warm sunshine coaxed the popular spring flowers like crocus, daffodils and tulips to start popping upward through the dirt.
But Mother Nature decided to welcome the plants with an April nightmare … snow and cold temperatures. What will happen to those plants that have been buried under the snow for about a week?
and#8220;Bulbs are quite hearty and can take a lot,and#8221; said Steve Parker, a horticulture consultant/plant doctor at Moana Nursery in Reno. and#8220;Sometimes down here the crocus bulbs will bloom right through the snow.and#8221;
Parker said once covered in snow, the bulbs are preserved until the snow melts, and they then can continue growing. So for the bulbs that appeared two weeks ago, Parker suggested waiting to see what happens once the snow melts.
In the upper elevations, bulbs never had a chance to start popping through the dirt, which is all still covered in snow. But with less snow at lake level, it can melt quickly in areas open to full sun.
However, even if the temperatures remain warm for a couple of weeks, it is still not a sign to start planting gardens. In fact, many local gardeners have learned the hard way to not to start planting gardens at Lake Tahoe until the chance of snow or a frost is long past.
and#8220;I do not bother turning on my sprinkler until June,and#8221; said Emily Hatch, president of the Lake of the Sky Garden Club.
For residents who get eager to enjoy the flowers, take a trip down the hill. In Reno, forsythia and quince are already blooming, Parker said, and the pear and plum trees will start soon. It is probably two or three weeks until lilacs can be expected to bloom, as even Reno is having an extended long winter.
The best advice Parker has for Tahoe gardeners: Have patience. Wait until the winter weather is over, and be sure to plant only plants zoned for our climate. Donand#8217;t let Mother Nature fool you too.