Spring again

By: georgevandenberghe , 2:43 PM GMT on March 11, 2013

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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.

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6. georgevandenberghe
3:20 PM GMT on April 03, 2013
Quoting Skyepony:
Planted watermelon a month early. Can't believe the vines are so long already..


How did they do in the cool weather of the last week of March in Central FL?
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 17 Comments: 1721
5. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:20 PM GMT on April 02, 2013
georgevandenberghe has created a new entry.
4. georgevandenberghe
4:13 PM GMT on March 22, 2013
It seems whenever I comment on the weather being unremarkable, subsequent events make it remarkable. It looks like the last two weeks of March will average far below normal temperatures here in DC although the return period for this kind of cold (perhaps 15 years) is not near as long as the return period for the warmth we had last year at this time. (50 years)

Still I have nothing in the ground except some overwintered broccoli, potatoes and onions and no plans to put anything in soon. Cold is forecast for the next week. Peas, lettuce and broccoli seedlings are ready to go in whenever ????? but at these temperatures can be held for quite awhile in the flats since they also won't grow fast. Tomatoes are 6" high and could use some sun outside now to harden and set flower buds (one little known trick to induce earlier flowering is to expose seedlings to days near 60 and nights in the 30s for a week or two)

I'm also late on sweetcorn but need to see some sign of warmth in the forecast before I can start it.




Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 17 Comments: 1721
3. beell
11:57 PM GMT on March 11, 2013
Not much of a gardener, georgev. But I do appreciate/enjoy your comments and participation on Professor Lee's blog.

Plant that!
;-)
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 142 Comments: 16498
2. georgevandenberghe
10:58 PM GMT on March 11, 2013
I was just happy to get broccoli to kind of overwinter and brussels sprouts and spinach to survive almost undamaged. But spring planting of cool season things is two weeks away and frost can occur into early May
here. On the other hand warm season things will grow through the summer here.
Watermelons are usually planted the last two weeks of May here.
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 17 Comments: 1721
1. Skyepony (Mod)
2:52 PM GMT on March 11, 2013
Planted watermelon a month early. Can't believe the vines are so long already..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822

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About georgevandenberghe

meteorologist and avid veggie gardener

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