Too early ???

angela12345(7b NC Mixed-Humid)March 15, 2012

Today is March 14 and our weather forecast for the next 10 days thru March 23 is ... 85 82 75 72 73 77 77 74 73. Lows forecasted are 57 60 60 56 54 54 54 53 53 52. This is unseasonably warm for us. From Mar 23-30, our average temps are normally 66-68 high with lows 42-44 and record lows 22-28. From April 1-15, our average temps are normally 68-72 high with lows 44-48 and record lows 26-32.

Our Frost Free date is typically considered to be between April 1-10 (April 10 is what I use as my pretty safe date), so planting 2 weeks after would put me at April 15-30. May 1 is recommended by ag office with earlier plantings possibly requiring season extension techniques such as row covers. With a standard deviation of 10 days, the actual frost free date could be anywhere between March 20 - April 20, so planting 2 weeks after could put me as early as April 5.

But ... With this crazy warm weather, I am itching to plant my garden NOW !! Am I thinking crazy ? I think I am trying to convince myself that this is an early year.

March 15 is when I should normally be starting most of my seedlings ... cuke, melon, squash, even tomato and peppers seedlings are normally started mid-end Feb - Mar 15 (I am running behind on those!!). Maybe I should direct sow some seeds just in case we get lucky and also start some seedlings as my backup plan. I could be having squash and cukes in May instead of mid June this year !! : )

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Same here with the unseasonable warmth. I started a bunch of extra seedlings this year. If I put some out and lose them, no big deal, but it will pay off nicely if the cold doesn't return in force.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:08AM
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margie5(z5 NY)

I'm struggling with the same issues here in central NY. We generally still have snow pack in place at this point and we've got no snow, buds opening, daffodils coming up and forecasts of 70s-80s for the next week. I start the peas and lettuce earlier than usual?? Our average last frost free date here is May 10 so I usually start peas at the beginning of April. Just wondering what everyone else is going to do? (I'm sure everyone is just as befuddled as me by the weather, though).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:57AM
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I'm planning to put snap peas out today... Did lettuce, turnips and spinach yesterday. And strawberries.

It's been in the 70s all week here in central Ohio (except Monday, which was a surreal 83), and the forecast only shows more of the same...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:13AM
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I'm in the same boat with the much warmer than usual weather for this time of year. After reading the posts above, decided to go ahead now with the seeds for my usual 4/10 plantings (lettuce, arugula, etc.), and also a few weeks early for the other seeds such as carrots, etc. We usually go with a 5/10 frost date for plants--basil, toms, peppers and the like. This year for the first time I'm going with purchased plants and will set them out as soon as available, thinking that if they freeze, the nursery always seems to have plenty more available. Since we only need 12 plants or so total, this seems like a gamble worth taking!

FWIW, I notice that the farmers have already plowed for their corn planting, which traditionally is planted on Memorial Day in this area. And they know a lot more about planting than I do!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:33PM
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I put up the hoop house a couple weeks ago. I put in my spinach, carrots, beets, and lettuce plants. I have to open the ends to let the heat out on the hot days.
My hard neck garlic (uncovered) is about 5-6 inches tall.
I also soaked my garden peas for a couple days and then planted them around March 12. I covered them with a small tunnel and they are finally starting to poke up.
The weekend is supposed to be in the 50's during the day with clouds and rain. Since I have to go away for the weekend (dad's 90 th birthday), I think everything under cover will be OK. Then it's supposed to get a bit warmer again.
I am trying to decide whether or not to plant my cabbage seedlings. I've had them on the screen porch for the last few days. What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:23PM
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im in VA, and I put most everything out this week. huge gamble, but wth. Had potatoes in for about 4 weeks now.

ill probably revisit this conversation in about 4 weeks when im bent out of shape from everything being wacked.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:47AM
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as promised ...supposed to get in the 30s tomm night. guess ill be doing an initial set-up/test on the raised bed greenhouse i recently(read as yesterday) designed(while standing in the home depot plumbing aisle) and built(last night)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:39AM
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With raised beds it is easy to get some 1 inch pvc and bend it over the beds and attach to sides with clamps. Then just put 4-6ml plastic over and secure to pvc with binder clips. Makes a mini hoop house.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:56AM
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essentially what i did, sans bending. just used a couple of 45s to make the bend. have to find a better way of securing plastic to said pipes for the winter.

in the end it didnt get that cold and today its in the 70s again, but still needed to dry run the design.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:00AM
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