Pffffttttttt.........So much for "last frost date" being March 18th.....


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...... for Dothan, Alabama (zone 8b).......apparently the weather has not been informed. I had taken Chuck's advise, for the most part, and it IS hard for me to "wait" until after the first of April for the "safe" end of the "frost factor". In looking at the 30-day predictions, it looks like everything is "on schedule" for warm up, then......BAM......April 5th, low of 34*......April 6th, low of 31*, and April 7th, low of 33*.........Now mind you, the temps ALWAYS end up being 4 -5 degrees cooler than predicted so, bottom line.......the struggle to "wait" continues.........
 
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...... for Dothan, Alabama (zone 8b).......apparently the weather has not been informed. I had taken Chuck's advise, for the most part, and it IS hard for me to "wait" until after the first of April for the "safe" end of the "frost factor". In looking at the 30-day predictions, it looks like everything is "on schedule" for warm up, then......BAM......April 5th, low of 34*......April 6th, low of 31*, and April 7th, low of 33*.........Now mind you, the temps ALWAYS end up being 4 -5 degrees cooler than predicted so, bottom line.......the struggle to "wait" continues.........
I look at the isobars in Canada and Russia to help in determining if it is safe to plant. If they are basically running left to right in a fairly straight line with no big curves or dips then the weather will stay good for the most part. In Canada this 2nd day of actual spring the isobars are looking pretty good so I think the freezing weather for the southern US is over. BUT, we still have the Pacific fronts coming in from California and they are causing all sorts of damage in the way of thunderstorms and floods in the central parts of the US but that hasn't affect me at all. In Alabama I don't think it will freeze again but I am afraid that in the next 2 or 3 weeks you will be having a lot of rain. My advise on the weather is if you see a low pressure area forming in Canada or a big dip in the isobars you might want to wait.
 
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I look at the isobars in Canada and Russia to help in determining if it is safe to plant. If they are basically running left to right in a fairly straight line with no big curves or dips then the weather will stay good for the most part. In Canada this 2nd day of actual spring the isobars are looking pretty good so I think the freezing weather for the southern US is over. BUT, we still have the Pacific fronts coming in from California and they are causing all sorts of damage in the way of thunderstorms and floods in the central parts of the US but that hasn't affect me at all. In Alabama I don't think it will freeze again but I am afraid that in the next 2 or 3 weeks you will be having a lot of rain. My advise on the weather is if you see a low pressure area forming in Canada or a big dip in the isobars you might want to wait.
Good advise, for sure........as always.
 
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Getting frames up to cover if push comes to shove.......
20190322_113438.jpg
 

Meadowlark

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As a scientist, I have to respect isobars and 30 day forecasts but I also fall back to "absolute truth" in my faithful pecan tree which has never lied in about 40 years of watching...it is now budding out.

The more practical thing to go on is "does the plant really benefit from early starts in the soil"? Some do, most don't.
 
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:sour: -> Green with envy! Wow! Overheated southerners!! Pfffftttt!!!!! (Sorry, DirtMechanic, but it needed said...)

My general rule is to start my seeds my first day off after the first day of Spring. That gets them ready for planting out on Mother's Day. That gives them almost 8 weeks, nice head start, not too leggy.
 
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I don't go by "last frost date" because in about 20 years of observing that date, it isn't the last more than half the time. I go by pecan trees budding, the wildflowers showing up, and dewberries blossoming.
One of our local weather forecasters famously said, "You never know when it's going to rain!" and I think you never know when the last frost date will be.
Right now we have everything in the vegetable gardens except cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell pepper plants. I told all the other plants that we were well past the last frost date so they could come up and thrive!
 
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Just REchecked the extended forecast for Dothan, AL.............NOW, the low's predicted to "be": April 5th.....56*, April 6th...58*, and April 7th.....59*...........Apparently, the other prediction was made after happy hour......."Stuff" is going in the ground........
 
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In 1993 our worst Alabama snowstorm was in late April. We usually plant by Easter.
In 1968, we moved to Birmingham (actually Center Point/Roebuck area. Went to E.B Erwin High School) the first Thursday of April. We woke up the next morning to 3" of snow on the ground......Will NEVER forget that........
 
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Just REchecked the extended forecast for Dothan, AL.............NOW, the low's predicted to "be": April 5th.....56*, April 6th...58*, and April 7th.....59*...........Apparently, the other prediction was made after happy hour......."Stuff" is going in the ground........
That sounds more righter! Go for it!!!
 
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I don't go by "last frost date" because in about 20 years of observing that date, it isn't the last more than half the time. I go by pecan trees budding, the wildflowers showing up, and dewberries blossoming.
One of our local weather forecasters famously said, "You never know when it's going to rain!" and I think you never know when the last frost date will be.
Right now we have everything in the vegetable gardens except cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell pepper plants. I told all the other plants that we were well past the last frost date so they could come up and thrive!
I personally have been observing the details trickling in about the solar minimum. It makes me predict a longer cooler spring. I have not checked - but I believe Feb had no sunspot activity so something of a record. Plus @Chuck might haunt me if I planted before the soil temps could "BUFFER" a temp change, which is a little past some of the soil temp posts we have seen on the board in the recent period. Its ok that a soil temp arrives at a particular number, yet a completely different thing if it stays that number. I speculate that grace period should be 2 to 4 weeks.
 
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I personally have been observing the details trickling in about the solar minimum. It makes me predict a longer cooler spring. I have not checked - but I believe Feb had no sunspot activity so something of a record. Plus @Chuck might haunt me if I planted before the soil temps could "BUFFER" a temp change, which is a little past some of the soil temp posts we have seen on the board in the recent period. Its ok that a soil temp arrives at a particular number, yet a completely different thing if it stays that number. I speculate that grace period should be 2 to 4 weeks.
You may well be right. All I can say is that here the extended forecast is getting warmer and warmer. Mid 80's this week with a cold front coming in with predicted low's of mid 50's and highs in the 70's next week. But do they really know? I doubt it. My normal frost free date is April 1. Anyway I hope they are right. If not I should have listened to myself as I have already planted tomatoes and beans and my soil temps are perfect.
 
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I personally have been observing the details trickling in about the solar minimum. It makes me predict a longer cooler spring. I have not checked - but I believe Feb had no sunspot activity so something of a record. Plus @Chuck might haunt me if I planted before the soil temps could "BUFFER" a temp change, which is a little past some of the soil temp posts we have seen on the board in the recent period. Its ok that a soil temp arrives at a particular number, yet a completely different thing if it stays that number. I speculate that grace period should be 2 to 4 weeks.
Welllllll......I don't know ANYTHING about "solar minimum" or sunspot activity as it pertains to planting time, BUT......when you go to the garden dept at Lowe's and there' soooooo many people there, you can't shake a stick at em (like yesterday)......its time to plant.....
 

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