What a difference a year makes. From record warmth last year, to a colder than normal March this year, our lawns and gardens have seen plenty of extremes.
Last year at this time, the flowers were already blooming and the growing season was in full gear.
This year, the ground is still frozen and the grass is still brown. But it may signal a different tone to the season ahead. And the hope is that we'll see more moisture.
Erik Helland with Landscape Garden Centers says last year's fast paced growing season started the water issues that would dominate 2012.
"Things were moving, things were growing and when things are moving and growing, that's taking away moisture and it was taking away moisture at a rate and a time when it's typically not done,” Helland said.
The length of the growing season last year was one contributing factor to the drought stresses. So, a later start this year could be beneficial.
"This year, we could still have a shorter growing season and still be in a drought mode, trying to make up for last year. But still not is as much jeopardy trying save plant material,” Helland said.
Conserving water and minimizing water needs will be a topic of concern heading into the growing season.
One of the most obvious results from last year's drought was brown lawns.
This spring, there are some early signals you can look for now that may tell you just how much damage took place last year.
"When you look at your lawn and you can see a hint of gray, that's the color you want to be aware of because that's the color we seeing with turf damage," Helland said.
If the drought is impacting your decisions on what to plant in your yard this year, Helland says it may be wise to stick with plants that can handle the extremes of our climate in KELOLAND.
"Native species, using native species and plant to this area, a great idea because it can handle a little more drought compared to non native species,” Helland said.