Spring isn't springing here

Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)April 3, 2013

I was checking my logs last night and last year at this time my apricots were at shuck split, this year I don't even have a bloom open yet! I would guess we are about three weeks behind last year, thats a huge difference and its going to change the growing conditions quite a bit.

Looks like we will finally crack the 60's next week. Its been at or near freezing every night for weeks here.


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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I think you mean 3 week behind average! It's spring break now and everyhting is still very dormant except for my microclimate asian pears, which I can see some budswelling. Nothing on my honeyberries though. I'm just really happy to see the cold hang on this year. I feared the worst.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Over the weekend, I found some of my mason bees hatching. Bad news. It'll be weeks before any trees flower. Everything is still quite dormant.

I looked up last year's dates. The bees hatched 3/15, the apricots were in bloom 3/17. Of course if that had been this year, the last two nites down to 20 would have killed them all off.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Madison still has patches and piles of snow here and there. The only thing blooming is a few crocus, located in favorable southern exposure.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:19AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Tomorrow, just one more day, and I think we'll crack it. But I don't think last year is the best comparison when we had 80s in february then. Anyway, next week will bring an explosion of color and fragrance. :)

Can't speak for WI, though.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:34AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Think positive.....at least this way you have less chance of the blossoms being damaged by cold right?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:37AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Looks to turn a little more mild today, and continue on into next week... hopefully we can get things moving a little.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I think this year we will have a huge fruit crop because no tree is making any move right now. But in the intervening time, it was 21F here last night, the snow is lingering where snowploughs accumulated it (though not anymore, mercifully, under mailboxes). We have not broken through 60 and we will not, at least for another ten days if the long range forecast is to be believed.

Yesterday I was outside potting peach seedlings, sea buckthorn and haskap seedlings in lunch bags, to be stored in the greenhouse until conditions become better. The wind was cold, the compost just above freezing, my hands were numb. All this in full sun, about 5-6pm, in SE Michigan.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:54PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I have peaches flowering...in my kitchen! Today was actually the first day i took a bunch of trees outside/watered/fertilized (all are actively growing peaches)...

I sprayed lime sulfur today...it was windy, and 46F...but there is some warmer air (mid 50Fs?) and rain in the forecast, so i thought i better get on it...

Its going to flip very quickly... I see the models are moving 80F temps into Nebraska in a few days, so that warm air is only a stones throw away...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 4:47PM
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We've been very lucky so far. It's mild and nice. Forsythia are blooming and apricots and pears are going to follow soon. Crocus and Japanese Iris are about done. The birds think it's spring and I hope the bees agree. Shirt-sleeve weather for sure; I'll be needing pollenizers soon. I hope.

I hope this trend holds for me and I hope you get it soon.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Don't worry guys - it's coming.....

while my Apples and cherries are just barely starting to swell their buds - the peaches and plums went into full bloom a week or 2 ago...

We are a couple weeks behind, but spring is coming....

The upside is that you won't have to worry about cold chill hours.... Didn't get any blooms or fruit off my fake "Elberta" last year because of a warm winter.... Full of blooms this year..


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 7:13PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

We have had 11 years of heavy sunspot activity, and it is supposed to decrease for the next 11 years, so things are getting back to normal. We may have a hot summer, but for sure we will be on the down cycle by 2015. Even talk of a mini-ice age. Sun spot activity is directly proportional to earth temperature.One of the best indicators around. Although for political reasons many institutions must dispute the data, a shame.
So get used to the cold springs, it should be like this for the next decade. If you look closely at the data you can see that activity during peaks was the highest in decades for the last 30 years (150-250). This trend is expected to end. So even during peak years we may see a lot lower numbers (100-150), the so called mini ice age is possible.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Sunspot Cycle

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 7:53PM
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I checked out my fruit patch today because I knew that I needed to do some repair work on the deer fence around it. The good news was that no deer had made it through the weak spots in the fencing. The snow was still too deep to open the gate so I had to find a spot where I could climb over the fence by standing on a drift. Snow is still covering the majority of the blueberry plants but I could see blossom buds on the ones that were poking through the snow. It didn't appear that I will have as many dead stems because of desiccation this year. The bushes had a colder, but less exposed winter.

The apple, plum, and cherry trees, and Carmine Jewel cherry bushes all had buds that were still as tight as they are in mid winter Raspberry canes were the only ones with swollen buds, ready to open.

I will have to wait through another 10 days to 2 weeks of snow melt to find out if I have any vole damage.

It's going to be a late year. No hope that the fall raspberries will every ripen before the fall frost. I'm glad that my summer raspberries are my favorite.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Seems it's late everywhere. This is my garden on April 1. I always hope the snow will be gone by the end of March, doesn't always make it, but this is ridiculous. Another 10-15 cm (4-6") forecast for this coming weekend, sigh.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 1:37AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Ouch... yeah...i'm down to just a few sheets of thin ice in the shade...but I still have plenty of frost in the ground.

A spring like this tells me I have to get serious and put up a larger tunnel. There is plenty of sun this time of year for good growth, its just the temps aren't there yet.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:33AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

First peach bloom was the day before yesterday (4-5). Looking over my notes, this bloom has been consistent 3 out of the last 4 years. Remarkably consistent.

2010 first peach bloom was 4-5.
2011 first peach bloom was 4-3.
2013 first peach bloom was 4-5.

2012 was the odd year w/ first peach bloom at 3-13 (three weeks earlier than normal).

Before 2010, my records show first peach bloom more erratic. 2008 was a very late spring with first peach bloom on 4-15.

All in all, it looks like the spring calendar is pretty normal for the lower Midwest. Possibility of a freeze out still exists but with each passing day is less probable.

Hopefully spring for you guys up north will catch up and won't be as far behind as it seems right now, but still don't experience a freeze out.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:16AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Nothing happening here...same old story... yesterday was the warmest day so far (59F), but i'm still finding a lot of frost in the ground. I pruned a lot this spring. Next week looks very cold again with chances of snow later in the week.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Forecast to get snow (up to a foot) this coming Tuesday with colder temps too. So winter is not over yet. Fortunately things have not started flowering up here yet.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Still allot of snow up north, still looks like February, it will be a late spring for all of us, ..better late then too early, it should help for damaging spring frost.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:33PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Apples should be ripe by Christmas :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It will be interesting to see if we get much catch-up, the colder trend will probably end at some point and we will jump ahead from late winter to mid-spring in one week. Thats looks like what is happening to us here, its going to be high 80 on Weds. I'm doing my apple spraying now, its silver tip on most trees but they are going to progress really fast when the 80s hit.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:12PM
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I saw today that the Japanese plums are past the dormant point, but the cots are still tightly closed. No 80s on the way here, tho - possible light freeze by the weekend.

I have no idea how those bees are going to make it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:26PM
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The weather forecast for Michigan has another 23F night on 4/13. We have not yet cracked 60, and nothing is moving in the orchard. The only thing that has moved is the garlic. The weather forecast also says no cracking 60 over the next 16 days either. The apples will bloom in May. Not clear that Winesap, Northern Spy and other late apples will ripen in time in the Fall.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:00PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


GFS shows a bunch of snow here this week.... and temps dropping into the low 20Fs later in the week. Good that nothing is blooming.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:31PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I consider "warm" this time of the year in the mid 60Fs... we might do that tomorrow (63f in the forecast)...after that, It doesn't look like we get back to the 60Fs until at least late next weekend, if not the following week. I really think it will be after April 20th before anything blooms.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


68 degree here in Omaha today and 76 tomorrow, but on Wednesday down to 39 degree. I think Denver going to get 8-14" of snow due to the storm from the west coast. Sorry to here that bad news MileHighGirl.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Interestingly, year after year in Michigan we get one big fluctuation with high temperatures for a few days in April, usually early April (we get the same thing in early October with first frost killing the tomatoes). It is almost certainly due to the jetstream moving from its winter to its summer positions (the jetstream is usually right over Michigan), and oscillating before settling.

It is not necessarily a good thing because two days at 80+ set a lot of things in motion, then it becomes cold again. This year that fluctuation is not forecast until late April at the earliest, and it may not happen at all. There is a silver lining in continuing 40-55 (high) and 25-45 (low).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Lot's of warm weather lately here in Northern NM, and the apricot trees are in full bloom, and most others are showing first hint of opening leaf and/or flower buds.

Whether or not the apricots will produce is up in the air as usual, the forecast is calling for temps dropping to low 20's Tues night with passage of storm that Tony mentions is poised to bring more snow to Denver (and lows near 10 degrees!).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:58PM
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Temps dropping into the 20s here later this week, but no buds open enough to be harmed, which is the advantage of a late spring.

I'll still be surprised to have bloom before May.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:16AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

38F right now and we've picked up an inch of rain... we should be in the 30Fs for high temps weds/thurs/fri...next weekend looks like garbage...extended range looks horrible (cold)... spring=fail around here..can't imagine being further north where there is still snow on the ground/or will be on the ground when it snows in spots later this week....

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:02PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

18 here now, 19 most of the day even though the weather said the high was 34?? I am glad nothing has bloomed yet. Quite a few swelling buds, but that's to be expected with our high 70's we had already. I wish may would get here before my blooms but I don't think it will happen. Average last frost is still may 1-10....

Hope these temps won't hurt my new tart cherry bench grafts I just got in the ground.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:51PM
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