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One Year Later – A Report

Literally one year ago, I posted this report on the garden: End of March Report

Now, if you’d like to read that whole thing, go right ahead, but here are the three important bullet points:

By the end of March, 2009:
We’d had a very dry spring so far.
The Rhubarb was already up.
The soil temperatures all over the garden were in the 42-43 degrees F. range.

By the end of March, 2010:
Well, as you can see from the photo at the top, the rhubarb is already up .. again. I think we can safely say at this point that things here weather and climate-wise have permanently changed. When we first planted rhubarb at Chez Siberia in 19(ahem) 83, we harvested rhubarb toward the end of May. At this rate with the rhubarb up now, we will be able to start harvesting it by the end of April and it will be done by mid-May. Anyone can argue the point any way they choose, but this is, as they say in the computer programming ‘biz’, a ‘feature’, not a ‘bug’.

We have had another event much like last year, where we got a couple of weeks of warm sunny weather on top of a rather dry spring and winter. Unlike folks in the South and Southeast part of the country, who got hammered with snow storms this late winter and early spring, we got none of that. This goes along with the comment above. The storm track got locked into the southern areas of the country because the Jet Stream came down from Canada…and stayed there. What we got here were Canadian Highs: cold, clear and sunny. All the moisture got locked into areas which ordinarily release them to travel up with the Jet Stream up into the Northeast, which is why people in the South saw temperatures and snow that they had not seen in 30 years and Mi-Atlantic areas such as North Carolina, Virginia, Philadelphia, New Jersey et al. got storms that they were definitely not prepared to deal with. I just checked Accuweather and their long-range forecast guy is predicting that April is going to be warm. Very warm.

Soil Temperatures. Well, this week, we got something that is actually pretty common for us in March: The Freak March Storm. Now, I’ve seen these where, as in 1993, snow dumpage is measured in feet, not inches. What we got instead was rain, ice, and about a 1/2 inch of snow and very cold weather. So, when I went out to measure the soil temperatures, I could not even put the thermometer INTO the soil in the beds that were exposed. They were frozen solid. Before the storm, the temperatures in those beds were in the high 30s, with the temperature in the glass-covered bed in the low 40s. Today, that glass-covered bed is measuring 40.3 degrees F., so even with the freezing temperatures (this morning when I got up, it was 21 degrees F.), we did not lose very much heat out of the soil under that glass. If Accuweather is right, that bed might warm up very fast and be ready for me to put in things like lettuce, cabbages, broccoli, chard and so on next weekend. But it also means that we will have to get the glass off so that the sprouts don’t overheat.

Until the next time – keep a weather-eye out.

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