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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jan 31, 2016 10:24 PM CST
Who else uses nature as a barometer for when to plant things? For me, I plant peas when the frogs start singing. That can vary between early February to mid March. Medium cold hardy plants (brassicas, spuds, etc) with the first bloom of dandelions. Usually about a month after the frogs. I haven't really figured out when to set out or sow the tender plants (corn, squash, etc) , I'll have to think about what to coordinate that to -- my elderly neighbor always advised waiting till June 1st, but I think that has likely changed.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Feb 1, 2016 8:43 AM CST
My FIL planted by the moon and never started his garden before Good Friday.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Feb 1, 2016 9:09 AM CST
Yes, I think planting by watching nature is a good idea.
There was a researcher in Alberta who was documenting how to relate nature signs to planting times. I'll need to see if I can find her work again.

No frogs near here so:
When daffodils bloom, plant peas?

It is called Phenology---planting by signs of Nature.

We should test some of them, as we plant our gardens.

There was another for when lilacs bloom???

The benefit of planting by Nature's signs is that weather is taken into account.
The dates on the planting calenders are only approximate and may not apply in some years if weather is different from the average.
[Last edited by CarolineScott - Feb 1, 2016 9:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Feb 1, 2016 11:45 AM CST
Sally, that is interesting to tie to Good Friday, which can vary a lot each year. Wonder if it holds true? Caroline, I'd love to have folks test their own phenology (new word for me, going now to research...)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2016 5:26 PM CST
Good topic, Deb! I was going to throw out the "phenology" word but Caroline beat me to it Hilarious!

Here's some info about lilacs that I found somewhere, at some time, and saved:
"A number of observations correlate with various stages of the common lilac: Crabgrass seed germinates at the time lilac is in the early stages of bloom; when the lilac has leafed out it's time to plant lettuce, peas and other cool-weather crops; when the lilac flowers are in full bloom, plant beans, cucumbers and squash; when the flowers have faded, plant melons."

Caroline wrote: "We should test some of them, as we plant our gardens."
I agree
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Name: Anne-Line Strokkenes Miettinen
Malmberget, Sweden (Zone 3a)
Sanneline
Feb 2, 2016 5:33 PM CST
Back home in birthplace we wait for a special lavin to go, then we can start plant the potatoes. "The potatoes lavin."
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2016 6:06 PM CST
Sanneline -- what is "lavin" ? (whatever it is, it must be fairly early -- I usually plant my potatoes in May...)
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Anne-Line Strokkenes Miettinen
Malmberget, Sweden (Zone 3a)
Sanneline
Feb 2, 2016 6:19 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Sanneline -- what is "lavin" ? (whatever it is, it must be fairly early -- I usually plant my potatoes in May...)


A lavin is when the snow slips and makes big damages???
http://www.smhi.se/kunskapsbanken/meteorologi/laviner-1.4676
Name: Anne-Line Strokkenes Miettinen
Malmberget, Sweden (Zone 3a)
Sanneline
Feb 2, 2016 6:21 PM CST
But in the mountains it is signs, old fashioned but I trust those signs 😀
Name: Anne-Line Strokkenes Miettinen
Malmberget, Sweden (Zone 3a)
Sanneline
Feb 2, 2016 6:22 PM CST
It's when the warmth goes to the earth and we can use it.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Feb 2, 2016 6:24 PM CST
I would think frogs and daffs are an indicator of soil temperature, while lilacs would relate more to air temperature? I will try to be more observant this year to see if I can correlate earth signs to planting times. Hopefully others will do so as well and we can compare results.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Feb 2, 2016 6:26 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Sanneline -- what is "lavin" ? (whatever it is, it must be fairly early -- I usually plant my potatoes in May...)


Lavin = Avalanche
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2016 7:04 PM CST
[quote="Sanneline"]

A lavin is when the snow slips and makes big damages???
]http://www.smhi.se/kunskapsbanken/meteorologi/laviner-1.4676...

Thank you, Sanneline! what we would call an avalanche... tough for me to follow that one here, since we barely have hills, never mind mountains!

Jay -- did you know that? I'm quite impressed, if so Thumbs up (I tried googling, but didn't have much luck with that)

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Feb 2, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Or maybe "wet avalanche" as opposed to a "dry avalanche". The wet ones have more force but the dry ones are faster.

If I was looking for an indicator of warmth, I would look for the wet kind.

I do not know they following, it is just my speculation.

But wouldn't two different conditions, (one of which was a wise seed-start-time) only occur at the same time in areas where the general rate of change of spring temperature was similar?

My spring might be off-and-on, gradually, from February through May in some years, or March through June in other years. Someone else might have it happen all in a few weeks, at some time between May and April.

In some regions, the variability of spring might be mostly early in Spring. Somewhere else the main hazard might be late, unseasonable, hard freezes. The criteria for a safe seed-start-time might be very different.

And Nature can only play the odds - I don't think the plants can predict weather. And if they did, global climate change would REALLY confuse them!

Maybe Maple catkins or avalanches work for one or another area, but some signs must differ regionally ...

... in my speculation.

Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Feb 2, 2016 7:58 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:

Jay -- did you know that? I'm quite impressed, if so Thumbs up (I tried googling, but didn't have much luck with that)



No, just online translator.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2016 10:35 PM CST
Rick... fortunately, potatoes are very forgiving, so there's quite a bit of leeway!

However, there is a great deal of folklore regarding phenology, and generations of people can't be all wrong. As we all know, when it comes to gardening, nothing is certain -- I've seen snow in June up here, but I can't schedule my planting around that. Just one more reason to be happy I'm not trying to make my living at it! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Feb 2, 2016 10:41 PM CST
We always heard that you should plant potatoes on Good Friday here in Iowa. Some years it is pretty much impossible to do it then. Unless you planted them in pots and not in the ground.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2016 10:49 PM CST
LOL, I know what you mean, Jeanne -- kind of hard to dig through the snow and frost some years!

Last summer I ordered some hazelnut bushes from the Arbor Day Foundation -- then I received a notice that they would be sending them in November. What?? I live in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, fools! I sent them an email and they eventually sent the plants in October, which, it turned out, was fine, because we had a very extended autumn; at the moment they are over-wintering in my hoop house. It would have been a lot different story the previous 2 years. I really expected that they would be shipping the plants the following spring... Shrug!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Feb 2, 2016 11:39 PM CST
Down here we plant tomatoes after Good Friday unless the pecan trees have not started budding out. The pecan trees enjoy a long dormancy and are rarely fooled by a surprise freeze/frost. Once the pecans bud out, it is usually safe to set out all our tender plants.
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Feb 3, 2016 8:55 AM CST
This is so interesting.
The frogsare going nuts right now at 10 am.
I hope the recent warm weather isn't confusing them.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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