Temperatures are warming up; is New Jersey in for an early spring?

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With warmer temperatures on the way in New Jersey, many residents may be looking forward to going out and getting their gardens started early.

Some signs of spring can already be seen around parts of the Garden State, from blooming flowers to budding trees.

“For a lot of New Jersey, on average, those first leaves are appearing about seven to 10 days earlier than they did 40 years ago,” says Climate Central Meteorologist Sean Sublette.

There is evidence that spring is coming earlier than it has decades ago. One good indicator is the growing zones for vegetables. New Jersey has always been on the border of Zone 6 and Zone 7. But over the last two decades, the state has shifted entirely to Zone 7. This means that crops like beets, broccoli, peas, kale and asparagus can all be planted now. The last freeze for urban parts of the state comes about a week earlier than it did in 1970s.

MORE: News 12 New Jersey Weather Center 
RELATED: This January has been one of the warmest on record 

“The problem with the spring coming earlier is when these buds start to show up early, like on fruit trees, then you get just a regular freeze, like the middle or later part of March, it really hurts those blossoms and blooms,” Sublette says.

Monday will see a high of around 65 degrees. Rivers and streams all over the state are filled thanks to a winter that saw more rain than snow. So, is it time to start fertilizing the front lawn?

“Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security thinking there’s not going to be any more freezes or frosts this year, because it only takes one,” Sublette says.

Anyone looking to plant vegetables or flowers that are more sensitive to the cold, experts say that it is best to wait until after April 15 in southern New Jersey and after May 1 in northern New Jersey.

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