Wait, is winter really over?

JoshTx(8a)February 23, 2014

Here in N. Texas we've come to expect a betrayal of sorts every year. February marks the end of true winter, but we always get a late frost in March. But this year, I'm not so sure it's going to happen. The Bradford pears have begun budding out, I've seen native birds making neats (a mocking bird even set up residence in my front yard), and sparrows have been flitting back and forth. I wasn't convinced this meant no late frost, as plants can be fooled and these birds don't migrate anyways.

That was, until I saw a clutch of newly born rabbits in my backyard today. Around here, rabbits take advantage of the backyard structures and fencing to build nests to raise their young in relative safety. But the babies don't usually come until late March or April. While the previous signs didn't give me much hope, I had to admit that mammalian instinct and reproduction is a much more convincing sign that winter is on its way out and spring will be ushered in soon.

Perhaps its my inexperience, but what do y'all think? Too soon to know or are the rabbits are good sign of relief from the winter?


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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Well....I got out and planted 14 bare roots in the raised bed and 6 Austins into pots. All I wanted to do was remove winter protection from my perennials and cut back dead foliage/stems. I wanted to prune so badly I literally had to convince myself not to do so.
I feel the way you do Josh, I've seen robins and mockingbirds...
I am anxiously looking for some blooming forsythia!
My last freeze date is April 15 what is yours?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:19PM
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According to the USDA my area has its last frost date around March 20th. Due to animal activity though I'm wondering if that frost won't be of significance...


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:55PM
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Must be nice. I have a couple feet of snow and ice. Oh and it's supposed to get to -10 degrees this week. And that's not including the wind chill lol. No spring here in Michigan. Your so lucky I can't wait to get outside and do something.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:12AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I'm with bman, no spring here. But it's nice to here that it's reached Nashville, Susan! Means it can't be too far away from Michigan.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:22PM
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No spring here in Louisville,KY.Booâ¦.I did walk the garden this week-end and saw lots of black canes. This winter has been very hard on my garden. I`m sure there are others out there that share my concern.I have ordered Austins, looks like I might have the room for them! Josh, I sure envy your spring sightings. I can just hear the robins song. Lesley

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:39PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

From the looks of the predicted temps for most of the country, winter is definitely not over, and I'm not talking just about the upper midwest. A new cold front has swept down on the the East and MidSouth, and areas east of us, like Montana. They are COLD. Diane

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:16PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

We had some lovely days, but that cold front is coming here, too :( Actually, it's not nearly as cold as it was earlier, so I do think it's an improvement!

But I haven't heard the birds that usually come to my yard when spring is really coming. So maybe you are right. Spring may be coming now where you are :) The birds might know it's not time here yet, even though those warm days could have fooled me.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Josh those rabbits must be super cute. I put up a picture of some rootstock for you on the roses forum. The old multiflora is the big huge center root with the rotted off tip.

The best thing about our no rain winter this year has been the pretty sunsets. This was Pink Rosette before her annual pruning.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:14PM
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Yes josh it's definitely looking promising. However, in the North central area where I live it's going to dip into the 30's for one more night. Rose season is soon upon us!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:41PM
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We just had a few days in the upper forties and it felt like heaven. 95% of the snow melted and I was actually able to inspect the yard and do a little weeding. It's unbelievable to me that chickweed not only survived the winter we've had, but looked bright green and unscathed. Temps will be in the low teens this week, so sadly, no spring for us yet.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:47PM
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LOL! Not here...I just shoveled the walkway three times this afternoon, then had my neighbor come over with his backhoe (yes, backhoe) and clear out my driveway. Then, I fell on the ice walking down (it was ice under all that snow) and about knocked myself out! I am SO READY for spring!!!! :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:22AM
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I'm counting on it. We haven't had much of a winter this season. It has snowed twice since December but the snow didn't stay more than a few days. Crocuses, snowdrops, hepaticas and a few primulas bloom. The ground isn't frozen at all so it's very muddy in the garden.

I pruned six climbers in the front garden today, all of them hardy ownroot Geschwinds so they should be okay even if we should get a backlash.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:46PM
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I think the rabbits are a good sign, Josh. We've thawed here in PDX, too. Lavender, OMG! I hope you have made a full recovery!! I never knocked myself out, but I remember what I used to call Minnesota "sneaker ice" lurking beneath the layers of compacted snow. It took me down several times on the way to the mailbox, my car, the garage, etc. Argh! Carol

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:09PM
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alameda/zone 8

Cant even imagine living up north, you all are tough! It is cold today in east Texas but I have been out planting my bare roots and finishing pruning. I found my first bud today! Its on Grandmother's Hat - a $2 rose I got years ago from Chamblees sales bin. I noticed for the first time that some of the trees are thinking about putting out leaves. Have a white flag iris blooming, but none of the rest of them are. Have seen bluebirds, but no robins. Fish are coming up to eat in my ponds when I throw feed. Daffodils are blooming. We can certainly always expect another freeze. Last year, it came when my huge wisteria was in full bloom. Just wrecked it - no more scent, fried blooms. I was furious! Will be ready for it this year. I am getting one of those pop up tents from Big Lots, will hang tarps around the sides and put heat lamps on extension cords to keep it warm. Will probably be the laughingstock of the neighborhood but I WILL save my wisteria! Hooray for spring!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Carol- Thank you! I am feeling better...I didn't realize it at the time, but my neighbor got stuck in one area of the driveway and spun out his tires for about 30 seconds. I think it polished the snow down to a glassy finish and that's why I fell down. Ouch! :)

We're going to be moving (enough of this winter!) and hopefully it will be slightly warmer and less driveway! LOL Even 20 miles north is about two months less winter. Too high an elevation, here....

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I was fixing up my MIL's raspberry patch today and there were worms everywhere. So yes spring is almost here!!! even though we might get an inch of snow here tonight winter almost over ! I've had enough

Grace e

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 7:15PM
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The snow just melted so I can remember what grass looks like. That should hold me through the next cold snap (day temps in the single digits) and to real Spring. I have seen 2 robins, one each of the last two weeks. Our last frost date is May 15th, but, daredevil that I am, I put the plants out in mid April and that includes the citrus trees. Neither they nor I can stand them inside any longer. Michael's Marie Pavie has a real competitor for most whiny.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:55AM
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