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South and the midwest heating up--northeast still cold

Posted by kristin_williams Z6 SW PA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 17, 07 at 13:21

Just look at this map from NOAA. If you move the cursor on the table over the highs and lows for each day, you can watch the predicted temperatures develop over the next week. This is good news for renewed hummer migration and for movement into the midwest. Click on the map itself, and you can get more precise temperatures for your area.

Poor us! Pennsylvania and New York and New England are still stuck in that nasty system of cold rain, snow, and cloudiness that just won't go away. I want to put my little seedlings outside, but not a chance before the weekend, and that's assuming those weather forecasters are right about the warmup. I hope they are.

If there is a silver lining in all of this for us, it's that I think we avoided the bulk of the frost damage seen in the south and midwest. To be sure, it got very cold (low 20's) but I don't think our plants were as far along when the cold hit, so they were less susceptible to damage. I think I lost my 3 Agastaches, but my Bleeding Hearts and native Columbine had only just begun growing, and I don't think their flower buds were far enough along to be harmed. I'm not sure about the trumpet vine, as it looks like some of the just emerging buds got zapped. I won't know until later. I'll be planting more hummer plants this spring, but saying a prayer that my mail order suppliers weren't hit hard.

Here is a link that might be useful: NOAA weather map--predicted highs and lows for the week


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: South and the midwest heating up--northeast still cold

Kristin

One thing that is for sure about the weather, it will change. I pulled a booboo the other day I left my seedling in front of the patio window most of the wind on a sunny day [some of the bigger plants] and lost them to shock. Yesterday I put two flats out on my shady porch for one hour and was afraid to push it[ 75 here yesterday].


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RE: South and the midwest heating up--northeast still cold

That's a shame about your plants. I've had that happen before, so will be very careful to only very gradually put all of my precious little plants outside. It won't be warm enough here until Friday or Saturday, as we are still suffering from the remains of that nor'easter with temps still in the 50's. My seedlings have been inside for so long that I will have to discipline myself to put them out for maybe an hour or two the first day, then a bit longer each day thereafter. It's been so cloudy that they could easily get a severe sunburn if left out too long.

This warmup is coming in the nick of time. My plants were doing pretty well indoors, but in the past week they've started to go downhill. I've gardened in this area all my life, so it won't surprise me if it gets cold again (but not into the low 20's!), then a bit warmer, then colder, before finally settling into stable warmer temps by mid to late May. That's normal. Still, it was somewhat unusual for it to get so warm in March, and then stay so cold for so long. I don't think we broke any all time records for any single day, it's just the duration of the cold spell that was atypical.

Gardeners around here are mostly used to this sort of thing. I feel sorry for the southerners, who I think really did get an unusual and extended cold blast rather late in their spring season. Damage around here was to the Magnolias, (which get zapped 2 years out of 3 around here anyway!), and the earlier daffodils. As far as hummer plants, most of mine are very hardy and had only barely broken dormancy, so weren't that vulnerable to damage. There may have been some temporary damage to my trumpet vine, but if it doesn't bloom this year, so be it. It's well established, and I'm sure it will survive.


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RE: South and the midwest heating up--northeast still cold

I was also lucky that nothing in my yard has been hurt by the lousy weather. I was getting impatient for things to start, but it seems in my neighborhood the plants know better than trying to grow before they should. I am wondering why there are no signs of my columbine yet. It has been - more like March here, so maybe they'll pop up after a few nice days we are finally supposed to have. Hopefully those hummers will start moving north with the upcoming weather as well! An example of things being later this year compared to last: I noticed in a picture of my daughter last year I had daffodils in bloom on 4/16 (she had picked them and I put one in her hair for a pic) this year they haven't even all poked through the ground yet! Isn't it true it's not really spring until the forsythia bloom? That hasn't happened yet! I am noticing the Red Buckeye I planted last year has buds that are starting to open slightly, I haven't gotten to see it bloom yet, so this is very exciting!
I am putting my feeder out this weekend just in case the hummer sighted in southwestern MASS (probably a 3 or 4 hour drive from me) miraciously makes it here by next week! Can't be too be safe!


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