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Weather Ups & Downs Impacting Plants Differently

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Donna Hogan has been gardening ever since she was a little girl.

"You have to love it, or you don't do it," Donna said.

That's because gardening is a lot of work -- not just in labor, but to keep up with the weather.

"I bring things in some nights if I hear it's going to storm or have hail," Donna said.

But with the fluctuations this spring -- cold to warm and soon, back to cold -- Donna knows she can get any questions answered by the master gardeners at the Iowa State University Extension Office.

Debbie Main is one of those master gardeners. She said most of the plants will be fine this week, but the roller coaster weather will likely kill a fan favorite -- the tulip.

"We need to get out and enjoy them while we can before the bad weather does come in," Debbie said.

Overall, she said this year's horticulture is looking up.

"We were behind schedule on the warmth. The last couple days are extremely warm, but this is probably much better than what we had last year," Debbie said.

There's no need to tell that to Chris Gensicke at Allen's Orchard in Marion.

Last year, Chris lost most of his crop due to early warming, late freezes and drought conditions.

"Getting back on track. Getting back on the apple pony," Gensicke said.

In fact, apple trees produce every other year, so because many didn't last year, he said they could have too many, which isn't the worst problem.

"The trees should come back and are looking to be coming back very strong this year, so we should have a good fruit set, not here, but throughout the Midwest," Gensicke said.

If the weather continues this way, Chris expects Allen's Orchard to bloom right around Mother's Day.

If you have any gardening questions, either call the master gardeners at 319-447-0647 or visit
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