SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Have your tulips begun to emerge from their winter slumber?

What about other early spring flowers?

Don’t worry. **checks calendar** It’s only mid-February. Wait, isn’t mid-February too early to be seeing this growth? The ground is normally covered with snow this time of year.

That’s not the case this year when we’ve had more days with bare ground rather than snow cover.

According to NOAA, this past January was the 7th warmest on record.

The lack of prolonged cold has tricked some spring plants and flowers into showing signs of growth.

According to master gardeners with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, those eager bloomers will be just fine.

The plants start and stop growing as the temperature fluctuates. Their judgment can be trusted.

Carol Bradford, CCE of Onondaga County MGVs

Also, Carol added, “A concern that occurred to me is frost heave. This kills a lot of plants, especially perennials planted last fall. When the soil freezes it expands and heaves the roots up. When the soil thaws again it sinks;  the roots are exposed to the air and they dry out and die. Gardeners should walk around during the thaws and gently step on the root balls to settle them back in place.”

Early spring blooms hellebores, snow drops, tulips, early daffodils, hyacinths survive without any interventions. Leaves of some of the plants may be affected with some curling/discoloration but the blooms are still in the ground and survive. Shrubs such as forsythia may lose buds.

Helen Mierzwa

That is the problem…the blooms haven’t shown yet. In my years of experience, it is those late-spring frosts in May that can be a real detriment to buds that have already been set. In spite of the abnormal warmth, we’re still a long way from that.

There is one thing to be worried about…

One thing all of the master gardeners agreed upon, there is one thing that can cause plenty of damage to that new growth….deer.

The use of deer deterrent is recommended to keep the deer away from those tasty tulip shoots.