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An Annual Mistake

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you kill anything yet? Well, it’s awfully early in the gardening season, but I’m ahead of the game. Because it was so warm a month ago, it was just too tempting to buy annuals too soon. It was 85 degrees the day I was at the nursery before Easter and it felt like it would never get cold again, so I bought a few herbs and annuals. And then, the temperatures froze one night – and so did the plants. I could have covered them or carried them into the garage…but I didn’t and they died.

There’s a reason experts say not to plant annuals before Mother’s Day around here, because mid-May is usually the end of freezing nights in this area. While the lure of flowers growing in garden center greenhouses is hard to resist, in early spring it’s best to stick to things that can take a chill: pansies, parsley, lettuces, onions. Then, after Mother’s Day, when the danger of frost should be past for this year, you can go get those more tender annuals. Which is what I’ll be doing in a couple of weeks; buying basil and impatiens. Again.

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