The Warm Weather Needs to Chill

I like warm weather, don't get me wrong. I like the warm spring sunshine that bathes everything in light and encourages the flowers to grow. I like the summer days - when it isn't above 90 degrees and 65% humidity - I'm not picky. I love the warm fall days where the sun trickles through the falling leaves. I even like the warm winter days, but we need a change in the air to bring us some cooler temperatures.   The warm weather isn't giving the plants the necessary hours before spring to chill out. Dandelion It's also not going to kill off enough of the insect population - which means we'll probably end up with a bad mosquito, tick, and chigger season next spring. Not to mention squash bugs, squash vine borers and other vegetable garden pests.  I've seen cherry trees flowering - months early.  If the sap begins to…

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A Frosty December Morning

Over the last couple weeks the weather has been much warmer than it should be, but now we're getting back to a much more normal December weather pattern.  There was even the mention of snow in the forecast for next week.  We'll see.  I won't count my chickens but a little snow would make a nice scenery change!  For now though we'll have to enjoy watching the ice crystals form on the vegetation.  Here's a few pictures from this morning's heavy frost. The blueberry plants that still have leaves are well frosted! Catmint with frosted white leaf edges. Even the grass looks cool - well of course it does - it's frost it has to be cool! Shadows on the frosted grass.  There's the blue shed!  There frost and shadows here too.  Yes it's December, it should be thyme for frost! Is it cold where you are yet?

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Some Like it Hot…

But there's a such thing as too hot! This weekend has been miserably hot. The temperatures have raced each morning to break above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Three days now in a row of triple digit temperatures are doing their best to put an early end to the garden. To make things worse the last rain we had was about a month ago. To put it simply - the garden is on life support. Watering is about the only thing that can get done and that must be done in the early morning or evening just to keep stuff alive. If you're in Tennessee you know exactly what I'm talking about. I do hope to share with you some positive things going on in the garden.  The vegetable garden will be producing tomatoes and melons soon.  Of course this is all with the aid of a soaker hose irrigation system.  My…

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The First Snowfall of 2011

Technically my title is completely incorrect!  We did have snow in January and February but this is the first snowfall of the coming winter season.  And technically this isn't even officially winter yet.  I'm just breaking all the rules for this post! I'm going wild! Anyway...yesterday we had a light snowfall.  It was the kind of snow that was so wet that when contact was made with the ground it quickly melted into regular old H20.  What snow coverage we had on the grassy areas didn't last long as the air temps were too warm to maintain the frozen precipitation.  Despite its brevity the snow was pretty! Snow on pot of pak choy. Snow on deck. Snow on chives and blue fescue pot. Snow on pyracantha branch. Almost looks like ice. The backyard with snow. The Blue Garden Shed with snow! Grassy area shielded from snow by a butterfly bush.…

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In the Cold Wet Snow

Today school was out, the roads were iced over, and the garden was draped in white. I always enjoy the one or two times each winter when our landscape is covered in snow. That's the great thing about living in Tennessee - or one of the great things - the mild winters! It will snow a couple times each year with usually no more than 1-4 inches. When it does snow 12-24 inches it doesn't last long and you're left wondering "did that really happen?" And around here we measure the snow in inches - not in feet! It's this type of situation that allows us to enjoy Old Man Winter when he comes to visit. So here's what winter really looks like in Tennessee (although technically it isn't winter yet!) We wake up to temperatures beyond cold, way beyond cold. My wireless weather station does a nice job of…

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Chilly Week Ahead – Warm Weeks Behind

Today is the Monday morning of what promises to be the coldest week of the Fall/Winter season 2010. The temperatures are predicted to be in the 30's for highs and teens for lows with is about 15-20 degrees colder than the normal temperatures. I thought I would take a moment with this post and tomorrow's post and think about those warmer days from the spring and summer that make us gardeners excited to be outdoors soaking up that vitamin D! (click on any of the pictures or links to see the original posts) March 2010 - The first daffodils in began blooming. In contrast the daffodil foliage in some areas of the yard are beginning to peek out of the soil - hope of things to come! April 2010 - The garden in April is always full of blooms. Tulips line our from walkway and the Yoshino cherry is covered…

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Tinges of Red

You can see it in the tree line in the backyard. Tinges of red coloring in the foliage of the trees, the sassafras never fails for fall color. We're not at peak yet, at least I don't think so but I'm afraid this year will be hard to tell. The dryness of the last two months has stressed the trees to the point that I'm just hoping their recover for spring. Many of the trees are losing their leaves due to the wilting process which turns the leaves brown then they fall from the trees without ever reaching their full color potential. It's almost like the trees have said "I'm too tired to keep going through this heat. I think I'll go to sleep now and maybe spring will be better." We've finally gotten some badly needed rainfall which came in the form of lightning and thunderstorms yesterday. I've always…

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A Bit Rough Around the Edges

Mid July finds my garden a little bit rough around the edges. The need for more garden time is always present with gardens needing weeded, the lawn needing mowed and cleaned up, tomatoes that need re-staked, and many other garden chores. It's not just the lack of garden time though, the weather has played a significant role. No rain for three weeks followed all of a sudden by several inches of rain is a challenge for a gardener to keep the garden looking ship-shape. One spot that is looking a little rough is out by the garden shed. I cleaned up the garden the other day but the perennials present are a little worse for wear. The rains knocked the Russian sage around a bit while the Shasta daisy in front was suffering from the three week drought period. Brown petals are a sure sign of not enough water! This…

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The Tennessee Flood of 2010 Part 2

Here are a couple videos that I pieced together of our backyard during the recent flooding rains. I do want to reiterate from my post yesterday that my experience was insignificant compared to how this flood has changed the lives of many fellow Tennesseans. We are doing fine with very few problems in our yard but please keep those people who have lost their homes, their pets, and family members in your thoughts and prayers. Also here are three places where you can help the victims of the Tennessee flood: Mid-TN Red Cross Community Foundation of Middle TN Second Harvest Food Bank (I had to break the video up into two parts. Part one is almost 9 minutes and part 2 is somewhere in the 4 minute range. Part two shows the biggest effects in our yard.) The Tennessee Flood of 2010 Part 1: The Tennessee Flood of 2010 Part…

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