TYLER - There's no denying it's cold in East Texas. While we've all heard about freezing pipes and the flu spreading, there's some good news for your plants and homes.
"Nothing should be blooming, growing, sprouting, growing leaves," said Greg Grant, a horticulturist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Smith County.
As a lifelong gardener himself, he said it's easy to get discouraged watching plants or crops die, but it's a good thing -- especially for your favorite summer fruits.
"Plums and peaches actually have to have winter time," he said.
Grant said the freezing temps keep the plants dormant during winter. Without a certain number of hours below freezing, you won't be biting into any peaches.
"If you don't get those hours, you have disastrous years like last year. Last year was so mild, peaches didn't bloom," he said.
Let's talk about the good news for your home. Less bugs.
"Cold weather is nature's way of taking care of insects," Grant said. "When you have an extended warm weather season, those insects stay alive. Naturally when those plants crash and burn, insects go down with them."
Dennis Newberry is the owner of Alpha Pest Control in Tyler. He said you won't see any termites, spiders or bed bugs in your home this time of year.
They'll stay outside and out of sight.
"They're not issues at this point. They're spring pests," he said.
Before feeling like you don't have a green thumb, Grant says to keep it all in perspective.
"As a lifelong gardener, there are more good years than bad years. It's never a disaster," Grant said. "There's always going to be nature and butterflies and birds and bees."
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