The weather ever changes, doesn’t it? From a low of 37°F (January 20), to a high of 81°F (February 3), things have been quite themselves in the last few weeks. That’s quite a change in 16 days.
I know most of the country is not like this. Many places have snow and ice for weeks and months, and are a long way off from seeing warm weather. But where I am, things are the way they are.
One of the weird things to contend with here is that this area does not frost. Well, let’s say, it’s a benefit of living here. It does freeze once in a blue moon, but it can go for years without ever freezing.
That is not completely true, it just feels that way. It may touch below freezing, but rarely stays that way. A quick online search finds many record low temperatures that are at 32°F or below. In fact, the record low was 18°F (1972). (Data courtesy Intellicast.)
So, while conventional wisdom says “it doesn’t frost here,” it really does, just rarely.
However, every seed packet on earth states to plant the seeds relative to “last frost date.” When is last frost date if it “never” freezes?
There are several online calculators that attempt to determine an area’s last frost date. So despite “no frost”, we do fortunately get a listing so we can estimate planting dates. My area seems to fall somewhere between January 6 and Feb 20. Here’s a good one: The Old Farmer’s Almanac, just enter your zip code.
Planted some seeds outdoors in early January. With that cold snap, I wasn’t sure they would survive, but there are hints of life.
Dill seeds went in on January 11. We first noticed some activity on January 25. By Feb 2, things were really coming along, and by February 7, more solid growth.
Scarlet Runner Beans, seeds planted January 15 are now showing signs of life.
We have an outdoor jade plant, and for the first time have noticed flowers on it. Small white flowers with five petals. Quite magical looking.
No buds yet on any of the fruit trees, but I am keeping a lookout for the first signs of blossoms.