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Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Posted by Pipersville_Carol z6 Bucks PA (My Page) on
Tue, May 3, 05 at 13:50

I don't know about the folks in the rest of the state, but it had been COLD over here in Bucks. Last night the predicted low temp was 33, with a similar forecast for tonight. My sister in Indiana ( zone 5, a full zone colder) has had beautifully blooming lilacs for a couple of weeks now, while mine are just budding out and MIGHT bloom this weekend if I'm lucky. I had to bring all of my houseplants and seedlings from the swap back inside last night.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

It's cold over on the Western side too. Matter of fact we had flurries yesterday evening. Freeze warning for tonight. Everything in my garden is either at a stand still or dead. And the late comeupers like butterfly and hibiscus show no signs of life. Since it's so cold we don't know if to start digging up or wait.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

PA weather is garbage weather. Too little heat and humidity thoughout the year. I feel your pain as I just threw the banana plants in the ground. They're a tough bunch, and will survive it. I say by late this week, planting should be OK.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Funny, Carol, you're not that far from me and our lilacs have been blooming since last week. Are you new to Pennsy? This is normal for this time of Spring.
Gardenguy, What kind of banana? Don't remember what variety mine are but they've come back the past two Winters. I bury them under leaves and grass clippings. Billie


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I had to scrape ice this morning!!! This afternoon I noticed all the new growth on the pieris was dead and drooping from the freeze. No other damage noticed yet, just some brown on the magnolias.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I am so tired of moving delicates inside and back outside so I just left it all out the last 2 night. I hope I don't have to replace too much. I see a good bit of frost on the car windows so who knows. I just hope the cherry blossoms are not hurt too bad by it, I'd like to be able to pick a few of them this year


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I've been lucky so far. Even my sweet potato vine did ok after a light frost Monday night. I'm still covering up my coleus and moonflower vines on the back porch at night.

My lilacs have been blooming for over a week now but the cool weather is keeping them from smelling so good.

Kathy


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Normal spring weather for PA? Sorry but it's not freezing over night and we're not usually getting flurries here in central Pa in May! If it were March this would be normal...even early April but this is crazy.

I did plant some Poppy seeds this week because the packet said they do best if they're put in before the last frost and in cool soils. I think this weather applies!

Supposed to be warmer today...can't wait for the weekend :)


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Hi Billie, the bananas that I have are Musa dwarf Orinoco. I have put a heavy wool blanket over them for protection. In the next few days, the temps are going to warm up. I am going to get my hose and attatch it to the basement sink. I will get the water as hot as possible, run it through the hose and warm up the soil under the banana plants. Also, I need to get some good fertilizer as well. This is my first year growing these outside. They've always been in pots. I want to see how big they will get, compared to being in pots. I currently have 2 of these banana plants outside since that 80 degree spell a week or 2 ago and have not had any damage to them since then. I also have another of the same banana plant in a pot. This I will use for propogation if the bananas that I planted in the ground this year do not come back next year. Do you really think that they can survive overwintering in the ground if I cut them back and cover them with a lot of stuff on top?


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I've lived in PA for about five years now, and lived about 200 feet from PA (on the Jersey side of the Delaware) for 8 years prior to that, so I'm used to the weather here. May is usually one of my favorite months, weatherwise, but this one seems cold to me. Either that or I'm just getting old and cranky! Maybe my lilacs are in a coldish spot.... they're on a north-facing (slight) slope, in full sun with a privet windbreak to the northeast. But even the lilacs in sheltered spots on the south side of my house aren't blooming yet. Must be a weird microclimate or something.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I didn't think the weather was too bad, at least the sun is peaking out now and then..... but it does seem like the freezing night temps are a little unusual. I was a little more surprised by what DIDN'T have damage. All the perennials sprouting and tender new growth..... only my pieris and magnolia look damaged.
I was at Lowes and saw alot of frost damaged plants today. I feel bad for the people lured in by the warm weather who didn't know it was too early for most of the plants. Some springs it's ok, but I think for my end of the woods May 15th is supposed to be the frost free date.

Carol, May is still my favorite month.... June is a close second.... unless it's June, then June is my favorite month!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

The weather has not been this chilly for sometime.
Last time it was chilly was in 1995 spring .
May is usually considerably warmer than this.
I have noticed that some lilacs bloom early and some will bloom later. I think there are different kinds with different bloom times , but I am not positive.
I hope everything looks decent when I go out to work in the garden today !


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

There are different types of lilacs. The more common Syringa vulgaris are usually the earliest bloomers. The Syringa patulas or koreans and some others like Syringa prestonia are later bloomers. I have the latter and they are all budded up very nicely but haven't bloomed yet. They tend to bloom around mid-late May.

It has been unseasonably cool this year, although I've known springs when it has been cool. At least this year there isn't as much overcast as the previous 2 springs. The sun at least, has been very welcome.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Carol, the weather IS cold, it's not just you....lol. Last night I had the best dream of my life. I dreamt that something happened to the Earth and it started to tilt differently. After the tilt shift occured. PA was on the equator.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Oh boy, gardenguy, I bet you never wanted to wake up. Imagine. Gardening all year--tropical plants--citrus trees...yum, yum, yum.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

But if Pennsylvania was on the equator, we'd have gnats year round!!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I'd take gnats ANYDAY over snow and cold weather. But, then this is Pa......

**reminds self -- "think realistically"**


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I['m from Bucks County too,not far from Carol and have lived here for 30 years. This is not a normal spring. I've kept garden journals for years and my gardens are way behind in everything. The few lilacs that are blooming have little fragrance this year and 2 nights ago I scraped ice out of the bird baths. This might be normal for somewhere in the state but not Bucks County.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

The last frost date for my area of Bucks County is May 15th. Temperatures at night can and do go into the 30's in the beginning of May.
mWoods, the lilacs on BCCC campus around the Hicks building smell wonderful.
gardenguy, I looked up the records for mine, it's musa basjoos. I just got done dividing it. It had seven new shoots. I pull the mulch back in April to help the soil heat up. If we're going to have any cold nights I'll cover it. Billie


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I'm ignoring it. I put out my tomatoes and peppers and my winter-sown cosmos, snaps, zinnias, cardinal climber, morning glory, and moon vine today. The very force of my faith will keep them from keeling over....right??


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Billie, I was going to try overwintering my musa basjoo outdoors next winter (it's getting too big for the house), good to hear that someone not too far away was successful!!

Gardenguy, your dwarf Orinoco bannana will not make it.... even with alot of mulch....sorry. I would offer a basjoo to yoo, but my offsets are already spoken for this year.

My plants are at a standstill until the weather warms, I'm getting impatient to see my lilacs!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Billie Ann you're absolutely right about the frost temps..I never plant out until after the 15th and we even get them after that. We also get many days in the 80s before the 15th too. But 40 and 30 degree night temps for days on end isn't the norm..at least not around here. BCCC and that whole area is always a week or two ahead in their flowering Carol and I are in Upper Bucks. My hostas are just now breaking ground,whereas in Central Bucks they are going strong. Just depends on where you live.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Sorry to be a pain in the aster, but do yourself a huge favor and ignore "last frost dates," just forget they exist. They are largely based on 15 year averages and can be totally wrong. Last year, and the year before, we had frost the last week of May. Just two days ago, Northern PA had a widespread killing frost. "Last Frost Dates" are as inaccurate as the new USDA Zones.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Kato, bananas are more resilient than you give em credit for. The key to banana survival year after year is the roots and the corm. If those freeze then the whole plant will die. In my case, the bananas are doing quite fine, even after the recent nights when it dipped into the lower 30ish degrees. I've had them well covered, but we're in the clear now as far as frost in SW-PA. Check out my photos that I took of them today after they've sat in the cold spring nights since I planted them about 2 weeks ago. They look short and stubby now, since they have always been in pots.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pagard/msg0519363720496.html?1


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

In the Phila. Inquirer this morning they had an article on the front page about the cold temps. This May so far has been the coldest in 30 years. My tomato plants need to be in the ground..they are taking over the greenhouse.Help!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

sween, The last frost date is a guideline to advise that we can have a killing frost into May. I believe the exact wording is "average last frost date". Don't know what city you're in but in Pittsburgh the last frost date is May 26th. So if you're in a colder section of Pennsylvania you will have the possibility of a killing frost until the end of May. Billie


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

mWoods - thanks for the heads up on the article in the Inquirer. Just checked it out. The weather has been a bit of a pain, but in a different sort of way from the past couple years.

I know that last year and the year before, we had the cool spring but we also had alot of overcast and outright rain (although not excessive) every couple days. At least this year there seems to have been alot more sun thankfully and we even had the middle 2 weeks of April with no rain at all (close to the record of 14 days and basically tying the 2nd place record for 11 consecutive days without rain).

The nuisance is getting the ground to warm up for those summer veggies. Of course people can go on and plant (I have some winter squash out under a plastic jug, which is not like me but I decided to try anyway). But it's a shame that there is what the article called the "roller coaster". Ie., you have 2 weeks of well above avg. temps and then 2 weeks of well below avg., yet the month is declared as "average". This pattern has been around since December.

Enough already! Get that darn jetstream up to the Canadian border where it belongs and no more troughs and ridges! Grrrrr.....


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

May 26th for Pittsburgh as the last frost date? That's HIGHLY UNACCEPTABLE. That gives us roughly 4 months of frost free weather. No sense in living in this crummy state if we only get 4 months of frost free weather. Maybe 5 if we get lucky in October.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

gardenguy - you live on the wrong side of the state. LOL

I'm glad the temps went up much higher than was forecast for today. The plants needed that!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

gandenguy ...get use to it..we get as much rain as the state of Washington and averge 304 "gray"days a year. And with the sun we had with that strech of nice weather I think we used it all up !!! Basil won't get going until August and I am lucky if all my hot peppers turn befor the cold nights get here and put a stop to them.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Well heck,the 15th is our last average frost date here in Bucks County and I never stopped to think that we're really only talking a few short months to garden. I used to be a happy person. Thanks a lot Gardenguy.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Okay, been watching this thread for a bit and keeping my mouth shut. But, gardenguy, here's how it is - if you don't like Pennsylvania, which you clearly do not, why in the name of all that's good and holy do you live here? Your last offensive remark was to refer to PA as "this crummy state." I've spent most of my adult life here and love Pennsylvania, so do us a big favor and have a few unspoken thoughts when it comes to a state all of us here call home. You don't like it here, fine. My strongest advice is this: MOVE. I tend to think we might, just might, be able to get along without you.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Sorry if I offended anyone, didn't mean to call the state crummy, it's just where we landed when the continents formed. Change the word state to yearly weather. I have indeed thought about moving but the family comes first and I do have to keep that in mind. So my frustration comes to the weather, not the state. Come to think of it, here's something to make you ALL and myself feel better. If this person can do this in Iowa, a state that has zones 4-5 rating, then we can always do better here:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/iowa/msg112253244173.html

It seems we're all happier after working up a good sweat in the garden and yard during 70-80 degree weather. Then at the end of the day, to settle back with a cold refreshing beverage while the flowers, the greeness of the landscape and the breeze flows in. Just to sit there and admire what you did, to contemplate on how to make things even better in your yard. There's nothing like a green growing landscape and dirty hands.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

GG..I don't think most of us were taking you literally at all. I've lived in this state for 33 years and have called it worse than that at times...we all do that when frustrated by the weather,politics,prices,you name it. Can' t imgine anyone getting their knickers in a twist over your statement and if so he/she has a chip on their shoulder a mile high and a mile wide. You just go ahead and frustrate away but be prepared for me to call PA some pretty foul names when it hits 90 and I'm pulling tics out of my ears on a daily basis.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Well I know a few people who will complain in the summer when it's too hot and in the winter, those same people will say it's too cold. I guess San Diego or San Fran is the place to be if it's like that. ME? Nah, if it get's above 90 degrees here, usually the dog and I go on 5-7 mile walks down to the pond, and back. The hotter the better. I guess I'm just one of those people who love heat and humidity, but due to the family, I can't just uproot everyone and move south. So no complaints for me when it gets unusually hot here, but plenty after October, tho football season shuts me up till after Jan, then I get really crazy to get my hands dirty again!!!!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Although I've lived here most of my adult life, I do happen to work in a business that is quite transient. And what really gripes me is the non-stop whining about how bad PA is by people who are simply passing through. For those of us who call it home, the constant bashing is downright offensive; it's like telling those of us who happen to love this part of the world that we're morons or fools. I'm neither, nor are any of the really nice folks on this forum.

PA is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Our climate is temperate; it gets cold, it gets hot, it gets dry, it gets wet. Some don't like it, so they leave. However, I've known more than a few who missed the climate and came back.

FWIW, I don't have a chip on my shoulder, and my intent was never to personally offend anyone. I just very much like this state and at times feel the need to defend it, so I do.

Now, don't get me started on state politics, please. My remarks are pretty much based on geography, topography, climate, blah, blah, blah. Cheers!


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

I'm a multigenerational PAer, born and raised here for the past 43 years, and all I have to say is that this is where the nation began so there! LOL

BTW, it looks like we may be over a little hump now with the unseasonable weather. Temps are supposed to be closer to normal the rest of the week. If anything, at least we got alot more sun during this year's spring than the last 2 unseasonably cool springs. I think extended springs are nice for those who like spring flowers. But for the sake of the summer bloomers and warm-loving veggies, spring MUST pass to make way for summer (HINT HINT Ma Nature)!

I guess this is saving on electric bills for when it is AC time? :-p


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Yes, it looks like some warmer weather is on the way... not that I'm in a rush! I'll miss the daffs and tulips when they are over.
But on the other hand I was in Virginia over the weekend and the green leaves and azaleas gave me hope that spring will get a move on it! I'm going for a big tropical bed this year and hot weather is like steroids for my bananas and E ears!
I was digging tonight and the dirt is getting kind of dry.... when the warm weather finally comes we will have to start complaining about no rain!
Kato


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

  • Posted by hannah 6B PA & 10A FL (My Page) on
    Mon, May 9, 05 at 9:12

I, too, was born and raised here in SE PA, with the exception of summers, which our family spent at the shore.
I moved to SW Florida many years ago and lived there for about 10 years before I had to return 'home' due my Dad's failing health.
I've been back up here for a while...have since lost my Mom...and have bought another home back down in SW Flarda...
Being a native Pennsylvanian, I think I'm entitled to say I hate it here, too, GG!
No need for anyone to chastise me for it...afterall...I'm leaving in July. ☺

My bod can't take the cold...everything aches...and quite frankly, I've had it with the cold, windy rain.
Snow is another matter...it's lovely...until the plows come through...LOL

People down there would always ask me if I missed the seasons...hah! We don't even have seasons up here anymore...least, not like years ago. What's to miss?

There's still nothing like a warm coastal breeze off the Gulf of Mexico coupled with the almsot constant sunshine, that mirrors Heaven to me.

...and tropical gardening is, well, different...it's a whole 'nuther world.

GG...Come on down!!! LOL


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Can't think of any reason to chastise anyone for not liking where they live. It's nothing one should take personally. I've lived all over the country from California to Connecticut including Oklahoma, Illinois,and Iowa. My folks lived in Florida so I spent a lot of time there visiting. San Franciso had the most gorgeous weather but I really missed the seasons and wouldn't live anywhere else other than here. The great thing is that when you get sick and tired of the weather,a new season is just around the corner. I'd go crazy having pretty much the same weather all the time. It's terrific you are going to get to live where you want to be. Grow some hibiscus for me.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

  • Posted by hannah 6B PA & 10A FL (My Page) on
    Tue, May 10, 05 at 8:19

mWoods...Oh, I'll grow'm alright...and saute'm up fer dinner! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! LOL


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

Okay, here ya' go, here's some typical Spring PA weather:

Today, one hour ago, 90 degrees here on the top of a mountain in NE PA...

Tomorrow night, FROST is likely in the very same spot...


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

See, the crazy weather is making even us gardeners crabby!

I've lived in Pennsylvania for five years, but before that I lived in New Jersey. Now THERE'S a state that gets insulted a lot. By everyone.


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RE: Brrrr... what is with this weather?

LOL about Jerseys. :-p

It's funny and almost beyond coincidence but every time I have travelled around the world, I always run into folks from Jersey. It's bizarre! hee hee

Well... looks like spring wants to hang around longer than normal. It's wild but it finally made it to the 80s late yesterday afternoon here. It was literally in the 50s and 60s almost half the day due to the "marine layer". Once that burned off, the early afternoon still had us in the low 70s and then bam!

Now the cold front has come through and it's cooling off. There are frost advisories in the northern PA counties and Philly and a few others are under a Red Flag warning. It's wild but meterological phenomena like "marine layer" and "Red Flag Warning" were always relegated to other parts of the country, but certainly not here. All I can do is shake my head in disbelief this year.


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