Spring officially started on Tuesday, but its weather has been here long before that. The unseasonably warm winter and the recent abundant precipitation has hastened the arrival of the growing season, but flora authorities aren’t worried.

Spring officially started on Tuesday, but its weather has been here long before that. The unseasonably warm winter and the recent abundant precipitation has hastened the arrival of the growing season, but flora authorities aren’t worried.

Cate Breneman, Pittsburg State University’s landscape architect, said plants are coming out of their dormancy stage much earlier than is usual at this time of year.

“We’re seeing them come out much earlier than would be typical in this part of the country,” Breneman said. “We have Bermuda grass coming in about two months ahead of schedule. It’s going to make our mowers very, very busy.”
Breneman said the early spring isn’t something she loses sleep over. At least, not yet.

“I think everything has a cycle,” she said. “Some years are going to come in earlier. It’s not a concern to me right now. If we have this for another five years, then maybe.”

The recent steady rains, which have dumped nearly five inches of water on Crawford County since Monday may have helped bring buds out faster, but Breneman said she doesn’t worry about plants being damaged from too much water.

“Right now we’re at around the five or six inch mark,” Breneman said. “That’s not entirely unheard of in this area. I think the difference is things that would normally have bloomed at the end of spring, we will see them early, like lilacs, which usually come out around the end of April.”

She is concerned, though, about the ground not being able to handle the sheer amount of rain.

“I worry about the water just sitting and displacing topsoil and our ground covers and mulch areas,” Breneman said. “That can make the grounds more susceptible to weed growth.”

To that, Breneman said she will try to address low areas that don’t drain by routing away standing water.

“There’s an area near Crimson Commons that we need to work on, but we need to wait until it dries off some more,” she said.

Breneman said the earlier spring won’t bring an earlier fall.

“I don’t think we will see the leaves change earlier,” she said. “The leaves changing is a response to the temperature changing.”