Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chance of frost?

I've heard the same thing from the older customers at the store for almost 3 weeks. Winter's not over yet, we'll still have some freezing weather. They aren't buying annuals or tomatoes. Do they know something we are overlooking? Maybe. I have seen snow in late April in NC. But look at our forecast.

Relying on the 10 day forecast at this point is a bit of a gamble. The National Climatic Data Center has better information. Click on the link, then your state. Find the nearest city and roll the dice. Fortunately, my town is listed.

What that tells me is that as of March 26, there is a 90% chance of a 32 degree morning. By April 11, the probability of a freeze drops to 50%. On April 27, it's down to 10%. Normally. This year isn't exactly normal. Winter was colder than normal. It was also wetter than normal. Last summer was cooler than normal. This spring, it's been and will be (for the next 10 days) warmer than normal. So what about frost?

I'm going to take a chance. Over the next week, I'll be planting out my tender brugs and possibly sowing my cucumbers, squash, and beans. The tomatoes are still too small to transplant, but they'll grow fast in this warmer weather. They'll likely get planted in the next two weeks.

So what about Easter and planting? Southerners sow their corn on Good Friday. It has little to do with religious reasons. In fact, Easter is determined by the moon phases. The first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox is Easter. There is a 35 day window in which Easter can fall. This year, the full moon was a few days ago. So this Sunday is Easter. Just after a full moon is the most fertile time to sow seeds according to the Farmers Almanac. So it makes sense that Good Friday is often used as a date to sow in the fields. Of course, none of this takes into consideration the actual weather. Northerners tend to use Memorial Day or Mother's Day as their guide for sowing tender crops. I guess I really need to get moving on filling that third bed with soil soon.

It's 54 degrees this morning. I slept with two of the windows open last night. I forgot how noisy the birds can be in the early morning. I wonder if they expect another chance of frost?

It's a beautiful sunrise this morning.


The Gaudy Garden said...

I remember a snow in May here. Not far from you.
With this heat spell, I'm wondering if the snakes will be out early.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Jim, I've already killed three baby copperheads that were hiding under the clover I ripped out last week. The longest one was about the size of a pencil and fit nicely under my boots.

Darla said...

Oh my gosh! I hate the reading/seeing/hearing of snakes part of gardening. Do be careful! Fingers crossed with you that the frosts are behind us now. Are the pecan trees budding? That's a real good sign..

FlowerLady said...

Good morning Tom ~ I hope you do not get another frost. If you do, I hope you lose nothing.

I just checked our weather and it is 69 at the moment and our high expected to be 82, partly cloudy. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and about the same temperaturewise.

Yikes Snakes! Don't see many of them here, occasionally the black racers, but they are harmless. It still doesn't stop me from yelping and running in the opposite direction though. I do not like any kind of snakes.

Have a lovely Easter ~ FlowerLady

Cameron said...

This nice forecast has me thinking that there could be a frost surprise coming. The plants are growing like crazy in this heat.

Ticks came out here two weeks ago, so I'm not surprised about the snakes. Be careful of those silent, striking copperheads! At least a rattlesnake warns you (and also smells like watermelon, IMHO).

Have a great Easter weekend.


NellJean said...

Mama always planted her north GA beans on Good Friday. Always.

I've seen a killing frost here on April 15. If I were you, I would go ahead and plant out things and have buckets ready for upending over them if that sneaky frost did show up.

The only thing that really bothers me is that the pecan trees KNOW when to put out blooms and leaves and there are none. NONE at all.

Phillip said...

I planted tomatoes and peppers this morning so we'd better not be having frosts.

L. D. Burgus said...

That is such a great sky photo. The colors are wonderful. Yes we go from 80's to 35 at night and it just won't stop. I won't plant tomatoes until May 15th. I just started mine in the window sill last week.