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Insightful Spring Planting Tips from UVM Gardening Specialists

Numerous factors could challenge your gardening prowess this year. From erratic temperature fluctuations to unexpected flooding in July, experts advise exercising caution before delving into gardening endeavors.

Ann Hazelrigg and Deb Heleba, who oversee the UVM Extension’s plant diagnostic clinic and master gardener programs, emphasize that spring’s primary obstacle is the unpredictable weather. Abrupt warm spells followed by potential snowfall and frost pose risks to budding plants.

Heleba warns, “In Vermont, you can’t rely on the weather until after Memorial Day. Putting your plants out early may subject them to cold soils, stunting their growth.”

Last year’s May frost, which devastated orchards and vegetation, serves as a stark reminder of this cautionary tale.

While the memories of last year’s flooding may fade, its repercussions could linger into this growing season. Heleba advises gardeners affected by flooding to consider raised beds, particularly in low-lying or poorly drained areas, to prevent waterlogged soil conditions.

Concerns also arise regarding potential soil contamination from floodwaters, with Hazelrigg recommending soil testing and remediation, such as removing silt or integrating organic compost.

Moreover, changes in plant hardiness zones due to warming climates necessitate a reassessment of plant selection. Heleba, noticing the shift from zone three to four in her mountainous locale, emphasizes the importance of selecting plants adapted to the new climatic conditions to ensure optimal performance.

The UVM Extension offers a Master Gardener Helpline staffed by knowledgeable volunteers trained in science-based gardening practices. This resource provides guidance on various gardening topics, including plant hardiness zones, pest management, lawn care, and disease control, surpassing the reliability of online searches.

Gardeners can also seek assistance with plant disease identification by sending in samples. The helpline operates from April 4th, offering assistance via phone and online channels, ensuring support throughout the gardening season.

Disclaimer: This article has been generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and may not be 100% accurate or reflect the human point of view. The published images are not generated by AI. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. It is recommended to verify the accuracy of the data and consult experts in case of doubts or need for specific information. We are not responsible for any damage, loss or injury that may result from the use of this information.

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