Ask a Question forum: Garden planting calendar for Bass Harbor, Maine

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islandgardeners
Jan 14, 2014 7:29 AM CST
I tried to get this information from your site but was unable to. Thanks, Ann Anton
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 14, 2014 7:44 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Ann,

For some reason my location system can't find Bass Harbor, ME. I'm going to look further into that specific location but in the meantime you can pull the report for the neighboring town or Orono and that should match your location pretty well.

http://garden.org/apps/calendar/?q=Ellsworth%2C+Maine

islandgardeners
Jan 14, 2014 7:56 AM CST
Hi Dave, Bass Harbor is on the Maine coast. Orono is north about an hour and a half from Bass Harbor. Other towns in the area are: Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and Bernard, Maine. Ann
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 14, 2014 12:14 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thank you for this extra information. I really thought we had weather information for every part of the US but it appears that your specific locale does not have the data we need.

Do you know when your first and last frost dates are? With that information in hand I will be able to get the calendar supported for your area.

islandgardeners
Jan 14, 2014 4:45 PM CST
Hi Dave, I went to another website and it said on the average the risk of frost is Oct.7th through May 6th. It also said
you are almost guaranteed that you will not get frost from May 23rd through September 26th. Thanks for trying.
Ann
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2014 5:57 PM CST
I think that all published guidelines on seed packets, and advisory calenders, give us starting points. Depending on soil temperature and daylength at our latitude and exposure and micro-climate, and how rapidly or erratically temperatures rise in spring, we have to learn the magic dates for our backyards.

Counties and ZIP codes are too coarse, and "last frost date" is too simple to give universal hard-and-fast rules for every crop in every location.

But probably counting back or forward from 'average last spring frost date" or "average first fall frost date" gives us the right answer for many crops, and is within a month for all crops.

But the generic formulas probably won't tell us "that would be a better FALL crop in your micro-climate".

One thing that I did was to make up a long table in a Microsoft Word doc, with one week for each row. Then I filled in columns for dates, "weeks before average last frost", and "days before average last frost".

Then I added columns for the daily low temperatures 24F, 28F, 32F and 36F. I found some website (probably NOAA) that gave me statistics for the last 20 or 50 years for a nearby weather station.

I think that "28F" corresponds to a very hard frost, or a hard freeze.
32F corresponds to a frost, perhaps a light frost.

The % rows reflect how likely it is that weather will go lower than that temperature on that date or later.

So a "10%" means that it is very unlikely to go colder than that, so late in the year.

A "50%" shows the date where, in an average year, the weather will go no colder/

Thus the "32 F" column and the "50%" row in that column shows the average last "frost" date (assuming that "frost" means the weather got as cold as 32, or colder, for at least a few minutes, on that date or later.


The purpose of all this typing was to let me read some seed packet that says "start indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost", I can decide how pessimistic or ambitious to be, and then look up those dates in my table.

Sometimes I'm cautious, like when trying a crop for the first time.

Sometimes I push it, for example I don't have as long a warm season as tomatoes prefer, so I have to push them and then baby them if get a cold snap.

In theory, I would then keep notes on whether my first attempt for that crop was late enough, or too early, or so late that summer heat suppressed my "cold weather crops".

In practice, I don't keep good notes! You'll do much better than me if you keep track not so much of when other people recommend that you start each crop, but instead record when YOU sowed each crop, and how it turned out.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 14, 2014 6:06 PM CST
I also made up a calendar from seed packets and online seed vendor's recommendations.

Since those only talk about "weeks before and after last frost" they "should" apply equally to everyone, everywhere. But of course, since they ignore all the interesting variations, they are equally likely to be off by one to four weeks for everyone, everywhere ... equally!

Here is what I came up with for some things i was interested in at the time.
Take everything here with a grain of salt. Some vendors suggest "4-6 weeks before" for plants that other vendors recommend "6-8 weeks before" for.


Thumb of 2014-01-15/RickCorey/2e62c4

I think that some of these variables would make HUGE differences. Are the seed vendors assuming ideal conditions, or average amateur conditions?

- "greenhouse air temperature"
- "germination soil temperature"
- "day length under lights"
- and especially "light intensity indoors"


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Jan 14, 2014 6:43 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thank you for the frost information! I have added your location to our calendar and it's working now:

http://garden.org/apps/calendar/?q=Bass+Harbor%2C+Maine

(And thank you Rick for your valuable insights)

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