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How Will This Growing Season Compare to Past Years?

by on April 15, 2019 4:45 AM

When it comes to getting your garden ready for the growing season, the current weather in April is not always an indicator of how your plants will grow in the coming weeks. 

Frank Barksdale, specialist at Wheatfield Nursery in Centre Hall, said last summer's record rainfall is the beginning to how plants start to bud in the spring.

"Coming off a very difficult summer where we had a lot of rain ... that rally affected production. It affected everything because there was so much water," Barksdale said.

Additionally, extreme weather conditions during the winter along with late-season temperature swings tend to inflict stress to many plants, causing roots to heave, or rise above the ground.

Barksdale, meanwhile, says the soil is the most crucial component to a successful growing season. In central Pennsylvania, the soil in the ground is typically a heavy clay, which can be poor for drainage, especially during soaking rains. This essentially prevents the roots in the ground to have enough air between the soil particles.

Centre County Report's Logan Logan Westrope has more with Barksdale and Eric Burkhart, director of the Penn State Plant Science Program, on the factors that are most important to growing plants in the garden this season.

This video is produced by and for Centre County Report and is shared through a partnership with

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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