Thinking of planting already? Here’s why you need to wait

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The recent stretch of warm weather might have you thinking of getting an early start on your spring garden or flowerbed.

Jeff Bennett with Bennett Nurseries says he has seen more business earlier this year compared to previous years.

But winter is far from over.

Many communities in the Tennessee Valley are still over a month away from the time when we would expect the final freeze of the season.

Huntsville usually sees its last freeze of the season around April 2; Scottsboro typically drops below freezing for the last time around April 6.

The unusually warm weather in January and February has no correlation with what to expect through the rest of the winter or early spring.

Costly spring freezes

A freeze in early April 2007 caused hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural losses across the Southeast and Midwest.

A bitterly cold airmass sent temperatures plunging below freezing across the region. Huntsville dropped to 25 degrees on April 7 of that year.

Many crops and plants had already started growing due to exceptionally warm weather in the weeks leading up to the "Easter Freeze." It is estimated that the economic loss in Alabama was nearly $13.5 million.

Protect your plants

Many people may have already purchased and planted some popular summer annuals and summer vegetables.

Annuals like impatients, begonias, and geraniums; and summer vegetables like tomatoes will not survive a hard freeze.

There is the risk of a freeze Thursday night and Friday night across the Tennessee Valley.

Click here to jump over to the forecast discussion.