This January our winter temperatures dropped lower than they’ve been in two decades. While uncomfortable, this is actually good for easing the summer bug population (Ticks, mosquitoes and fleas come to mind.). But it does put a damper on gardening efforts, though dormant trees, shrubs and perennials can still be planted and bright pansies added to planters and garden beds carry us into spring.
However, a friend recently sent a picture she took (mid January) of warm weather caladium bulbs that had been left outside on display racks for sale in freezing temperatures at one of the “big box” stores in town. Now, caladiums grown in pots are so heat loving we don’t even begin to carry them until late April – and advise people not to plant caladium bulbs in the ground until the soil is thoroughly warmed in May.
Why should this matter to you? Because, if you weren’t aware of this, you or your neighbor might have bought these and, on the next warm, sunny day, planted them. Of course, after having been left outside on the racks in those temperatures, your gardening failure is guaranteed since the bulbs were not properly taken care of. It’s highly questionable whether they should even be for sale yet – unless they think someone will purchase them to start inside in pots and plant them outside at the proper time (May, remember?).
This is just one example of why shopping for your plants with people who sell only plants, at locally owned, independent garden shops, matters. Thanks for reading.