Are we done yet?

alabamanicole(7b)March 29, 2013

Average last frost date for this area is April 2nd, and there's no sign of frost in the forecast although the early part of next week will be chilly. While it's not warm yet... can we call an end to winter, or does your gut tell you we have more chills ahead?

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drippy(7bAL)

I am taking a cautious approach - not planting too much stuff out yet except the most cold hardy. A lot of cleanup going on, though.

I HOPE we're done!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:28PM
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bulzi(8a)

The Garden Web needs it's own groundhog. Why, I do not know. Can one bribe a ground hog for the truth?

Please call an end to winter........cautiously.

Always cleaning up, it seems. Beautiful sunshine yesterday, gloomy today.
Compare the weather here to our northern neighbors, it is wonderful---couldn't be better.

Enjoy the days ahead, it will be 'deju-vu' before you know it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:38PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Bulzi, I am a northern transplant. The things I am doing in my garden now I couldn't even THINK of doing until May in Massachusetts. I'll take the weather here, thank you! (And yes, I like the summer heat).

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 11:04PM
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bulzi(8a)

drippy, I had rather die in the garden from a heat stroke , than die in the house hiding from the cold. I have children in Wisconsin at the moment, that did live in North Dakota. Kinfolk in Fort Wayne, Indianan and why they choose such COLD places??????? When they come here , usually in the summer ,they burn up. Both love cold.....it is not for me.
In North Dakota and Wisconsin , if a person dies in the winter they have to wait till spring to 'plant' them.
It is very nice here for the most part.....born in the Chapel on a Easter Sunday morning a number of years ago and now reside on the same street I grew up on. Too old to move anymore. Plenty to do here on the hill.
Gardening in the same places that my grandfather and father gardened. Last year I tried growing watermelons as did my grandfather back in the 1930's - 1940's. They done well.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:02AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

Ha! In 20 years in California I think I had frost once. It was like the snowpocalypse. I thought it was funny -- I grew up in Virginia. Crazy Californians.

Then I moved here and now I miss the balmy weather. And the citrus and avocado trees. And the perennial veggies. Oh well -- I don't miss the traffic!

I have a groundhog, bulzi. She/he doesn't hibernate for the winter here, she just raids my compost pile. She's been pretty active lately; I think she thinks spring is here.

But I'm being cautious, too. The forecast looks good even if it is solid rain.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Holy moly - woke up to about 40 degrees this morning, just 15 miles N of the FL border, gray skies AGAIN. Will this ever ever ever end? This is the worst spring of the 6 that I have been here so far. The past few years there was no frost here after early Feb, had it 3x last week of March this year. I admit, I got assumptive mid-March and planted some tender things that look dead now, some might grow back from the crown. I had taken most house plants outside and had to bring a lot of them back in, where they still are, STILL WAITING for heat and sunshine. Just glad I didn't have any tomato plants yet.

Some warm, sunny lyrics...
I'm in love and it's a sunny day. Good day, sunshine!
Here comes the sun.
They're out there a'havin' fun, in that warm CA sun.
Some like it hot!
In the day, don't you know it's a pity, that the day can't be like the night, in the summer, in the city...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:43AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

But the forecast looks *lovely*! 70's all week.

Oh my, and there's this really bright thing out there today. It hurts my eyes but I kinda like it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:49PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Does everybody have their doors and windows open this fine, sunny day? It's a bit chilly, but I'd rather put on a sweater than close the door, lol.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, and digging holes, mowing, finally - some fun!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 3:24PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Set up two new raised beds in the veggie garden area today - planting beans tomorrow, and maybe, just for the heck of it, one tomato seedling under a cloche.

Sweater? This former New Englander says it's shirt-sleeves weather out there!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

lolol! Drippy, that reminds me of when I lived in Beaufort, SC. We could spot the tourists a mile away; they would be the ones wearing shorts and tee shirts in January.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:24AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

The soil temp is still only 68F here, so I won't be doing any tomatoes just yet. Maybe in a week. Nighttime temps may dip into the 40's next Friday night.

The dogwoods are just starting to open; spring sure is late this year compared to last year.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:15AM
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drippy(7bAL)

Alabamanicole, I noted several plants blooming last year on April 8, and one notation I made was, "Azaleas are almost by." This year, they are just starting to open. My lavender stoechas started blooming today, too.

Big thrill of the weekend - I discovered that my very dead looking pineapple sage is not dead at all, there is new growth at the base of the plant!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:41PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

Have you seen the weather forecast for next weekend? Arg!

I guess the tomatoes and pepper stay in their pots for at least another week.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:31PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Yeah, I keep an eye on it. I decided on planting out only one of my tomato seedlings as an experiment, and it's under a pop bottle cloche. I am prepared to bring a few trays indoors if need be, and I have my remay handy for other sensitive plantings.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:25AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I considered planting them out yesterday and then covering them up next weekend, but 15 degrees of protection is hard to do even with two or three layers of rowcover. Some areas may get frost.

I also have some dwarf gardenias purchased for my back landscape project that spent all winter in a greenhouse, so I've been bringing them in with the seedlings when the nights are dropping below 50F to protect the tender new growth. This is getting old.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:15AM
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drippy(7bAL)

NOAA says 36 here Friday night - for awhile it was 38 or 39, so I wouldn't have worried, but I can always lop off a few degrees for our area in Harvest. I'm preparing for frost. After I get back from the plant sale at the Botanical Garden :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Our prediction is for 42 tomorrow night. Seriously?! Holy moly!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:59AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

They'll be more accurate about the low temps this weekend after the cold front rolls in tonight (ya'll stay safe)... but yeah, I would plan on bringing in what you can and protecting the rest. Anything I get at the plant sale this evening will probably just stay in my truck in the garage until Sunday.

Last year's early spring was apparently just a plot to lull us into a sense of security.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:26AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I hate to say it, but I just checked the long range forecast and it looks like it will be back in the 40's in the second half of next week.

*sigh* I'm just going to have to re-pot the tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:33AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

Patchy frost last night here in east Madison. Everything that could come in was in the basement and I think most of my tender plants will be okay but we'll see. My apples and pears probably got nipped and I won't see any this year.

Anyone else get frost?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:53AM
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drippy(7bAL)

I got it, Nicole - I spent an hour and a half Friday covering with Remay, and rearranging smaller stuff to come in, and was glad I did, as I woke up to frost this morning. I was particularly worried about the blueberries, which are blossoming, but they are ok, as is my one new (small) peach tree. My veggies are in mostly 3x3 raised beds, and the only one that needed protection was the beans. Having been here only 3 years, a lot of my plantings are small. I lost nothing - even the tomato I planted out under a cloche is fine.

How did you make out at the Botanical Garden plant sale? I got a beauty berry and several other things I have not been successful at growing from seed. I thought the plants there were great; wonderful selection and very well cared for.

Now to get them in the ground, LOL!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:12PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

Frost on my car yesterday morning here in Gadsden, but my tomatoes in the garden were OK and I saw no frost on the ground. A lady from Sand Mountain,a few miles north and about 500 feet higher, reported bad frost.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:42AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I picked up a couple things at the Plant Sale. They didn't have the things I was looking for, but I found a few others. :)

I'm trying to grow some pawpaw seedlings but since it's so hard I went ahead and picked up one to be a fertilizer for my existing pawpaw when they get older. Also some basil plants (for got basil in the garden design!) and an endangered Tennessee coneflower just because.

Hopefully I'll be able to put out my tomatoes and peppers next weekend if it will finally decide to stay above 50F!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:05AM
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bulzi(8a)

I have viewed these post daily. Do so enjoy this one. It reminds me of a half- life- time ago when I did garden to feed a new family, more than to impress myself. Those days have suddenly returned.
Nothing can compare to a fresh tomato produced from your own sweat. Fighting the late frost. Take in . Take out. Cover , uncover. Those days , these days are the very best .
I have always as far back as I can remember, L-O-V-E-D to play in the dirt. To walk barefoot on new plowed ground. To go down the rows dropping seeds .Having to fight rodents and birds in the beginning to only give some sweat back to them as the garden grows.........these are those days once again.
Just as 'keepingon' once told me about certain smells bringing back hidden memories , so too do these post bring back memories for me. Thanks for the memories... plan ,prepare and plant.......joseph

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:37AM
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drippy(7bAL)

Bulzi, you are a good writer, and I am completely in agreement - this weekend I brought in bunches of fall lettuce, spinach & parsley putting out a new spring flush. After spending this gorgeous weekend uncovering plants (again, LOL), digging, weeding, hauling - that gorgeous salad certainly made it all worth it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:24PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Did you see they are talking about a freeze possibility next weekend????? It's MAY, for heaven's sake - I moved south to get away from this!!!! Well, thank goodness my peach trees and blueberries are small, and I stand a chance of covering the fruit/flowers.

Waaaah (deep whining here).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:42AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I am so glad you posted this -- I was just about to go out and plant some stuff and was planning to cover next week the one night is was getting into the 40's. Now I see the forecast is calling for 34F next Friday!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:56PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

Tonight they have changed the forecast, what I was looking at now has upped the forecast to 45 from 34 for Gadsden! Big difference!

Let's face it - forecasting the temperature a week in advance - particularly this time olf year - is science fiction!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:09PM
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bulzi(8a)

Last year we had an almost perfect Spring. Compared to this year the 2012 Spring was perfect. Low 40s for Birmingham area again next week....?....

This to shall pass. When?

Be careful what you ask for. Christmas in July? One time a year is enough for Poinsettias.

Does anyone have Okra coming up with these up and down temps?

Wishing my life away for the first ripe tomato. Nothing better than a fresh ripe tomato right out of your own garden.......anticipation.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:30AM
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catbird(z7 AL)

I'm tired of this schizophrenic weather and keeping summer and winter clothes spread out on the guest bed. One day I'm gardening in shorts, the next day in jeans and a sweatshirt. Looks like it will warm up next week, so I guess I'll start packing.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:13PM
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bulzi(8a)

Catbird, sure hope you are right. Fortunately, I wear all season clothing. What ever is close to me in the morning is what I put on. A lot of yesterday stuff till I wash and that is always the second Tuesday of next week.

I want to blend in when I am outdoors. Dirt, stink weeds and all.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:27PM
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bluesagewmn

Wow Bulzi, I just read where you are gardening where your 'grandfather and father' gardened. That is so cool!...and I can relate! I moved back onto the property where my grandfather lived a few years ago and it is so gratifying seeing the plants and trees he planted still thriving so long after he's been gone (1972)!....You have such neat posts!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:36AM
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bulzi(8a)

Make the best that you can of your surroundings. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is toooooo late. Sometimes we scratch our heads - - when , how, what tha, where. Gardening sure makes you think. Wish that I could plug into alabamaicole and many others at times to figures something out. An overall plan which I can not grasp. What goes with this, how big will this get, where is the best placement for this or that.

Research is great, but I sure don't believe everything I read ......if someone from the GW has input into a problem that I am having trouble with ( thinking it out ).....I tend to go with the hands on person here....it is like having a hundred PLANT DOCTORS... helping solve or come up with a solution.

Garden people who ReAlLy c-a-r-e are right here to keep frost off your plants, to prune, how to care for with years of experience.

If my computer goes out, I will surly go bald.....er.

As for "Are we done Yet?" Hot August nites are on there way.

Alabama Power says "Thank You."

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 2:07PM
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