Early Planting Gets Green Light, With One Restriction

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND -- Spring has more than sprung.

The warmer weather we've been experiencing across northeast Ohio has folks thinking it is more like mid-June rather than mid-March.

Homeowners like Carlene Gregg of Strongsville are sprucing up the outside of the house earlier than usual.

"We're doing the things that we would normally do in late April, early May.  We're getting a jump on the planting, the edging, on the grass cutting, (because) I am a big planter," Gregg said.

Garden expert A.J. Petitti of the Petitti Garden Centers said go ahead and plant your trees, shrubs and flowers now.

The growing season is about three to four weeks ahead of schedule.

Petitti said it is alright to plant what normally wouldn't be planted until mid- to late-spring.

"The pansies are wonderful, forsythia.  A lot of cherries in bloom right now.  It's really a great time to start planting all that," Petitti said.

Bill Bodenschatz of Brunswick said the serpentine cherry tree caught his eye while browsing through the Petitti Garden Center.

"It looks like it is going to be a perfect addition to our yard," Bodenschatz said.

Petitti said don't worry about the weather if you want to add a little color to your garden.

"Perennials are great to plant right now.   If you are really starving for color, a lot of shrubs, a lot of perennials and pansies are a great way to get color in the yard early on," Petitti added.

He said if you have tall, ornamental grasses you should cut it back now if you haven't done so already.

"Because you are getting new grass to come up from underneath it and that is a good month ahead of time," Petitti said.

As for vegetables, it is okay to start the seeds indoors, but Petitti said it is too early to get them started in the ground just yet because the plants are sensitive to frost.

"All the trees and shrubs and perennials you really don't have those same concerns of frost as you do with vegetables," Petitti said.

The weather has been unpredictable and there is still a chance we could get a frost or deep freeze this spring.