Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2013 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - What a difference a year makes

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - What a difference a year makes

 Here we are a week into our spring season and a couple days away from April and still experiencing some snowy, cold days. Last March we experienced eight days with temperatures of 80 degrees or better. This year we have had only one day of 70 degrees. Recently, someone asked me if I would rather have a March like this year or last year. I thought for five seconds and came to the conclusion that I like this year. Why? I like all the rainfall we are experiencing this year. Our rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, and underground aquifers are full. We haven’t experienced having such a bounty of water in a few years. Secondly, I like have our plants growing and blooming during the right time of year. I’m smiling.
 With this bounty of water so far this year let’s not lose sight of our need to be good stewards of our environment and continue to use water wise gardening habits this year. Just maybe, with continued rainfall and good gardening habits, we can avoid water restrictions this year.
 Also, let’s not forget the importance of our soil temperature. It’s our soil temperature, not our air temperature, that decides when a seed will germinate or when a plant breaks dormancy and begins to grow. Last year our forsythia plants were blooming in late February and our azaleas were blooming in early March. We were lucky that Mother Nature didn’t deliver some killing frost nights. As a plant lover it led to some nervous times. I wasn’t always smiling last year at this time. I took a soil temperature reading on Tuesday, March 26. It read 44 degrees. This is a good temperature to plant our hardy shrubs and trees but we need soil temperatures to be 60 degrees and above for germinating our vegetable and flower seeds. We just need to be patient.
 So, let’s keep this year in perspective. We have a plentiful bounty of water. Our soil is plenty wet. Our soil is soft and not frozen. Our plants are responding like they are suppose to in Zone 7. And, we are going into April without any water restrictions. All of this is making me smile. Am I making you smile? If so, come see me with that happy, spring smile.
Posted: 3/26/2013 by Doug Hensel | with 2 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
Doug Hensel
Gail, Thank you for you comment. I took a soil temperature reading yesterday (April 3). The soil is warming slowly. It is now 47 degrees. I think with our extended forecast next week that we will see a more dramatic increase with our soil temperature.
4/4/2013 1:11:54 PM

So what's our soil temp now, on April 4?
4/4/2013 12:39:18 PM

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