With the warming temperatures of late, a lot of people have been asking if it is time to turn the sprinklers back on again. In a nutshell, I’d say no. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, even though the last few days have been warm and dry, the ground is still relatively moist due to the storms of the winter. One way to tell is to take a screwdriver and push it into your lawn or garden bed, and see how easily it goes in. Ground that is too dry will become very hard and it will be difficult to push the screwdriver in. If you do have ground that dry, I would recommend doing some light hand watering.
The reason for caution is that hard freezes are still historically common this time of year, and can occur through April, and sometimes even later. That not only can be hard on irrigation systems, but you don’t want to encourage your plants, trees and grass to come out of hibernation any more than they have to. Many a fruit crop has been lost due to early blooms that get hit with a hard freeze.