It's beginning to look and feel like spring -- but is it too early to start working in the yard and garden? Can you put down the fertilizer? How about planting?

For the past week, temperatures have been unseasonably warm, with highs in the 50s and 60s -- nearly 20 degrees above average. It's been so warm that many neighborhoods have set records.

All this mild weather has some spring flowers blooming early. Even my rose bushes are setting new buds much earlier than normal.

But don't be fooled by this unusual weather. It's still too early to plant as even cold-weather crops don't go in the ground until the end of March or April. Resist the temptation to fertilize the yard as well. You don't want to encourage growth so soon in the event winter actually returns (or shall I say arrives) in central Ohio.

What can you do? I recommend starting by cleaning your yard, flower beds and gardens. Getting rid of the old leaves will prevent disease and will mean you are ready to plant and mulch when warm weather is here to stay. You also can make sure your mower and tools are tuned up and sharpened for the season.

I'd also be prepared to protect flowering trees and shrubs this year more than any other. The warm weather definitely has them confused and the worst thing that can happen is for them to start flowering only to have their beautiful blooms killed by a hard freeze. You'll need to cover them when frost or freeze warnings are issued in the coming weeks.

Watch my forecast weeknight at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. on 10TV, and join the conversation at

Weather where you live author Chris Bradley is chief meteorologist at WBNS-10TV.