meteorologist and avid veggie gardener
By: georgevandenberghe, 2:43 PM GMT on March 11, 2013
Last year at this time I looked at the GFS 2 week forecast and realized we were done with -5C lows in the DC area for the rest of the season. That's about two weeks earlier than I usually feel safe. This is the threshold for planting lettuce plants, pea transplants and other slightly hardy cool season crops. I also, based on this forecast, started sweet corn transplants in early March rather than the last decade as I usually do. Contrary to most other literature sweet corn transplants very easily. Kudos to the GFS for a long range forecast that verified usefully.
The verification of that forecast was the most intense and long lasting March warm spell in half a century (century + further west). I planted a tomato plant outdoors March 15 2012 and it survived to produce delicious record early tomatoes June 3.
In this much more typical year, garden soil is cold and wet and I'm not ready to put anything outside in it yet. A few spring days look like they'll be followed by seasonable cold this weekend 3/16-3/17.
Updated: 2:46 PM GMT on March 11, 2013