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okiedawn1

96 Degrees Is Too Hot For Early May.....

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
10 years ago

This weather is just ridiculous. I tried working in the garden today, and for a while I succeeded. However, when the high temp hit 90 before lunch time, I came inside to take a break in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, the cool season plants couldn't come inside with me, so they're not in a very good mood this afternoon after roasting in the hot sun all day.

It hit 96 degrees at our house today which seems just a bit warm for May 3rd. Last year on this date? We awoke to a frosty 31 degrees (I had covered up the whole garden with Agribon row cover the night before) and topped out at 70 degrees. I think'd I'd rather have last years May 3rd weather than this year's.

My cool season crops are not amused by the hot temps. The last few heads of lettuce shot up 6" overnight, so they probably will put up seed stalks tomorrow or the next day. The pea plants just look hot and tired, and maybe a little bleached out by the heat. More onions in the big garden bolt daily--one or two a day, so I just pick them and use them. In the Peter Rabbit Garden, none have bolted. Those are short-day onions in the PRG and they are bulbing up nicely.

I have harvested a ton of broccoli and, frankly, the plants just don't look very happy with the weather. Last year the Piricicaba survived all summer, but I had it in a lot of shade. This year I put rhubarb in the shady spot and put the broccoli in full sun and I'm not sure these plants will make it to the end of May. The cabbage plants look fairly unhappy too.

The warm-season crops are fine, but it makes me ill to think that the daytime highs here are already hot enough to start impeding fruit set on tomato plants. Fortunately, this early heat is not expected to last too long, and more seasonable temps will return in a couple of days, so fruit set on the tomato plants will be able to continue.

On the bright side, heat is good for okra seeds. I sowed seeds Monday and the first plants popped up out of the soil today, and it wasn't even fresh seed. (The seed is only 2 years old though, so pretty fresh.) The yardlong beans started popping up their seed leaves in only 2 days. It is a good thing there's a lot of edibles that like hot temperatures, cause hot temps are what we've got.

I haven't looked at our soil temps today, but they've been running a little above 80 degrees.

If we hit 96 here, I bet some spots in SW OK must have hit or exceeded 100. Leslie, are you out there? How hot was it at your place today?

If this heat sticks around a bit longer than forecast, my cool-season crops are gonna be toast, except for the potatoes and onions. Taters and onions seem fine in the heat if it will just stay there. The onions don't seem to like when it seesaws up and down a lot.

At our house, I always think of May as the last "good" month when I can work outside as long as I want to or need to every day before the June weather gets too hot and starts driving me indoors by noon. This early heat makes me worry that May isn't going to be as good as it usually is.

Dawn

Comments (15)

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well it isn't as hot here as it is there, but I still got hot working in the garden. I turned on the air conditioner in the house today so I could cool down when I did come inside.

    I put in some transplants today and some of them started looking a little droopy.

    Our forecast for four days in a row is 89, so I decided this morning that it was safe to plant okra, and I have had four types of okra seed soaking all day. I will either plant it today or tomorrow. I am planting Cowhorn for my main crop, but I am also going to grow Burgundy, Orange Jing, and Stewart's Zeebest where I can find an empty spot in the garden. I laid out the packs of 'long beans' this morning because I think they will get planted this week on my last available trellis. I am rapidly running out of space.

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I planted Stewart's Zee best today.

    Have now harvested 3 heads of Chinese cabbage, picked broccoli 1 time. Our little dog just goes nuts over broccoli and sweet potatoes, but he like a lot of fruit and vegges.

    Weather is too hot here also.

    Larry

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  • mulberryknob
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Only got to 86 or so here today, but with no AC yet that was too hot.

  • susanlynne48
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just too hot for me to do too much. Did trim back overgrown vines and unwanted tree saplings. Got to get some Tordon to get rid of these permanently. Also planted out a few ornamentals, and watered potted plants. The humidity is awful and makes it seem much hotter IMO. Got a bed prepared for Okra plants/seeds.

    Tonight the neighbors and I tried to rescue a baby Sparrow - I know, a Sparrow for gosh sakes. But, we didn't want to see the neighborhood strays to get him. Still has some downy feathers and he was desperately trying to spread those little wings. Funny thing is that the Mama Cardinal, who's a resident here in the yard, was trying her best to rescue him as well. In her efforts, she landed on the fruit tray I set out for the butterflies and sent them scattering on the wind. It was a comedy of errors when all was said and done. We finally got the baby to climb the pine tree for the time being, but I don't know if it will stay there or not.

    Needless to say we were all dripping sweat. I see where there is a break coming in the temps, but it can't come too soon.

    I'm harvssting Lettuce and it doesn't show signs of bolting........yet. I need to harvest some Oregano for drying before it flowers.

    Susan

  • lat0403
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We won the award for hottest place in the state yesterday with a high of 101. Yay us. It was already our third day over 100 degrees this year and it's supposed to be 100 again today. Only 98 Saturday, though! It is supposed to cool off a little after that.

    The heat is expected here, though. We look at last year as horrible, and it was really hot, but it wasn't that out of the ordinary as far as temperature. Here, at least. With the rain we're getting this year, we are way better off. I just hope it continues.

    Leslie

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Carol, I was just miserable out there and it was so early in the day that it made me feel like a wimp. Then I came inside and checked the weather, and the heat index at the airport nearest us was showing 103, so at least I understood why I felt so miserable.

    They're showing 90 as our high for the next few days but since we've been going 4-5 degrees higher than the forecast every day this week, I'm expecting something higher than 90. Well, unless it stays cloudy all day, which would be OK with me, although it also means we'd have higher humidity and a higher heat index. Sometimes you can't win for losing.

    Larry, Your dog is so smart because he likes fruit and veggies. I have one dog who likes veggies, and he needs to like them. He's part Rottweiler and is huge and weighs about 120 lbs. In his younger days he was all muscle, but as he ages, his percentage of body fat goes up. His favorite veggie is tomatoes, but he loves winter squash and pumpkins as well. He probably should eat more veggies and less dry dog food.

    Dorothy, I married a Yankee, so our AC is already on. Tim thinks the house has to be nice and cool at all times. I turn it off a lot when he isn't home.

    Susan, I'm glad you got the baby sparrow up to a place of safety. Maybe the neighborhood strays won't find it. We have baby chicks hatching out, and my first clue that the first one had hatched was that our youngest cat was sitting at the chicken run gate watching the mama hen herd the tiny chick around the yard. The chick is so small it could run under the gate, so I chased the hen and chick back into the coop and put them in a cage for the chick's own safety. Now there's two hens and 8 chicks and we'll keep them caged until the chicks are big enough that they cannot squeeze under the gate. All the other hens and the roosters are out free-ranging today, chasing grasshoppers and other bugs around the yard.

    Leslie, That's a temperature prize y'all probably could win most days. Our temps weren't abnormally high until August when they started going over 110. What was unusual was how many days in a row we went over 100. Usually we're only over 100 for a few days here and there. Last year it was for 70-something days, most of them consecutive.

    It is cloudy and humid here today, but it feels better so far than it felt yesterday.

    Dawn

  • lat0403
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I take back what I said earlier. Last year really was unusual. If you look at days over 90 degrees, it was completely normal, but last year we had 100 days over 100 degrees. The longest streak was 50 days, but we had a couple of 20 day streaks as well. I went back 10 years on Mesonet and during that period we averaged 16 days over 100 a year. So yeah, last year sucked.

    I'm the same way with the AC. Mine has been on for at least a month. It's turned up pretty high, but it's still on.

    Leslie

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well it is only 82 at the moment, but the humidity is 70%, so it feels hot (and wet). It was already bad, then we had a little thunderstorm come through. We were on the very edge of it so just got a sprinkle of rain, but loud thunder.

    I had planned to plant okra and stake peppers first thing this morning, but my neighbor called and needed me to take her to Joplin for her cancer treatment. He husband had planned to do it, but one of his crews had an auto breakdown in Arkansas last night so he was up most of the night getting them and their trailer back to town, and today he had to go back for the truck. She was afraid that he couldn't get everything done that needed to be done before he has to go out on another job. I was pleased that she called me, and her mother is coming to stay with her next week and probably longer. When I got home, Al was putting a new wheel on the lawn mower and needed a little help, so I haven't been in the garden today except to do a quick walk-thru. Need I say that I am not real anxious.

    I have been watching the Mesonet on my other monitor while I was typing and the wind is moving a little more and the humidity has dropped 2 percent, so maybe it will be better later in the day. We have a slight chance of thunderstorms tonight so I need to get the okra planted, at least.

    My air conditioner gets turned on when it is hot and I don't care what the calendar says, but yesterday was the first day that we had needed it. We have six ceiling fans so it has been enough to run those in the rooms we were in until yesterday.

    Do most of you plant okra thick and then just thin it out? Every year I have mine too thick, so last year I didn't plant as thick and got almost no germination. If you thin, do you try to move the plants, or just yank them? I am determined to have okra this year, so I am planting 4 types. LOL Actually I'm not planting a lot of seeds for 3 of them, but thought I would try more than one in case it was a bad okra year again.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Leslie,

    I think that for most of us Okies, last year was (I hope) the worst summer we'll ever see.

    I didn't look back at mesonet numbers, but my county probably goes over 100 maybe 5 to 7 days in an average summer, and every now and then we have a summer where we don't hit or go over 100 at all. Last year, I think we were 100 or higher on 76 days and over 90 for 117 or 118 days. Prior to 2011, we probably hadn't had a summer here with more than 20 days over 100 since we moved here in 1999. Our Keetch-Byram Drought Index numbers were the worst we've ever seen since moving here. It wasn't just the heat, but the heat in combination with almost no rain. In July not a drop fell.

    As far as I am concerned, the miracle was that our air conditioner worked all summer without failing. I was just waiting for it to die. Our water line made up for it by breaking, twice, as the ground shifted, but it broke in September and October after lots of rain had fallen and the cracks in the ground were closing up. By then at least the tempearatures were bearable.

    Carol, It is 96 here and the humidity made it miserable most of the day, but finally our RH dropped low enough that our heat index dropped lower (94) than our temperature (96). I tried going back out a little while ago and it still felt too hot, so I turned on the sprinkler so the chickens could play in the mist from it and came back inside.

    It is great that your neighbor knows she can count on you. That's what being neighbors really means. I hope her treatments are going well.

    We have a slight chance of severe thunderstorms. I'm hopeful we'll get rain, and hope that is all we get.

    With okra, I plant it twice as close as I want it to be, so I then can thin it out to the proper spacing. If I have poor germination, I either move some of the ones that need to be thinned while they still are very small, or just sow more seed into the empty spots. I planted five kinds (Stewart's Zeebest, Beck's Big Buck, Jing Orange, Mammoth Spineless and Little Lucy) this year and the ground is so hot the plants are literally jumping out of the soil, so I think I'll be thinning a lot. I didn't really plant many of any given kind, but even a few seeds of five kinds adds up to probably more plants than we'll need. I won't thin for a while yet since it is a bad cutworm year. I haven't seen new cutworm damage lately, but that doesn't mean they're all gone either.

    I had a good okra year last year, but didn't freeze as much as usual because we were gone to fires all the time. I had a hard time keeping it harvested before it got too big because I wasn't home much. It was good and tasty when I had time to pick it and cook it. I planted watermelons kind of under it, so it shaded them somewhat and that worked really well, so I am going to do that again this year.

    Dawn

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Last year I started planting okra by planting 3 or 4 seeds about 3 or 4 inches apart, skipping 2.5 or 3 ft. planting the same pattern again. If I need to fill in a spot I lift out a crowded plant with the post-hole diggers and place as needed.

    Larry

  • mulberryknob
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I presprouted my okra seed for the first time this year and got very fast and complete germination on Clemson and a Burgundy one. The Stewart's Zeebest was so slow that I thought it wasn't coming at all so filled the row with the other two. Then saw the Stewart's sprouting so removed 6 hills of the Clemson, which came up two days after I planted it, and replaced with Stewart's this evening. Like Larry, I have moved seedling okra by getting it early with soil.

    Carol that same line of storms gave us several loud claps of thunder and a few drops of rain and passed on. I don't like seeing that pattern so early in the year. Usually see it in July and August.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wonder how hot it will be today. The forecast is for 93. If we hit the forecast it will be lower than the last few days, when it has topped out at 96. However, if we go 3 to 5 degrees higher than the forecast like we have been doing lately, we could be in the upper 90s. I have a lettuce plant in the big garden in almost total shade that hasn't bolted yet. I hope today's weather doesn't get it. All my lettuce is heat-tolerant varieties, but once you're in the mid-90s, that doesn't stop them from bolting.

    A ferocious thunderstorm rolled through here last night with sustained winds in the low 40s and gusts to about 55. Trees and power lines were brought down and it was a huge mess for several hours. Our firefighters were out helping find downed power lines, clear trees and limbs and other debris from roadways, etc. They even put out a pasture fire started by a downed power line. The power was out at our house for about 3 hours. I stood on the porch and watched as the treetops blew in sort of a circular motion in that strong wind. It was crazy.

    I thought the sweet corn would be flattened to the ground, but other than a few small pecan tree limbs that landed in it (and they didn't damage anything), it is fine.

    The plum trees were not as lucky. The southernmost tree lost maybe 10% of its fruit. However, the northernmost tree lost probably 75% of its fruit. As I watched the storm approaching our county on radar last night, I expected we'd lose all the fruit and half the garden, so I am relieved I only lost plums.

    We only have to get through today's and tomorrow's heat, and then we should get some cooler weather.

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, I watched that storm when it was west of Waurika and was afraid that it was going to come your way. It had heavy high level circulation even then, and at one time it recorded ground level rotation. Looks like your county got rain with it. I was cooking, then rushed out to plant some okra, and forgot to look at the weather again last night because we were not having storms. I'm glad your garden didn't get a lot of damage.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Carol, I knew that if you were home, you'd be watching it. I watched it too. Early on, I thought it would pass to our southwest, but then it became apparent it wouldn't. So, I ran outside and dragged about 15 containers with plants (mostly peppers and tomatoes but also a few flowers and herbs) up underneath the patio cover. There were some I couldn't move because they were too heavy. Then I just made sure the pets all were inside and that the windows on the sunporch were closed. After that, all we could do was wait it out. The brunt of the storm hit about 2 minutes after I went inside.

    I was watching the radar like a possessed woman. One cell, which at one point had a tornado in it, was moving towards Granbury, and my cousin's family is south of Granbury, so I was watching it. Another severe thunderstorm was moving right straight at my mom's and brother's homes in Tarrant County, so I was watching it. Tim was on the way to work, so I was watching for storm development along his route, and then I was watching the storm that was headed for us.

    We got 6/10ths of an inch in the gauge, but a lot of the time the wind was blowing the rain sideways, so we may have had more than what made it into the rain gauge. Based on the large puddles, we might have had up to an inch.

    A storm spotter reported a tornado in the air near Thackerville, but no one else saw it and no one could see it on radar, etc. so most of us discounted the report as erroneous. There were tons of trees, tree limbs and power lines down in and around Thackerville so that community did take a real beating. Some power poles snapped in half. I'm inclined to think it was straight-line wind damage, and not the supposed tornado. After the main storm had passed, and all the cops and firefighters were out dealing with the damage, and the electric co-op guys were working to restore power, we started getting very, very strong outflow boundary type winds blowing back at us. Those winds did additional damage, especially in Marietta, which wasn't hit as hard by the earlier winds as the Thackerville area was. I think we sustained less damage than either of them since we're right in the middle. We only lost power because of trees in the Thackerville area that came down on poles/power lines. In our neighborhood, overall there was little damage. Even the pecan tree limbs that came down were dead wood with no foliage.

    The garden looks lovely after the rain storm. I think the moisture helped a lot since we'd gotten so very dry. I bet we have killer humidity today though. It seems like a good day to stay inside during the heat of the day. I am really concerned about how hot it will get, in terms of what the heat will do to the cool-season plants. Oh, and you know how sugar snap peas are in their growth habit--more leaners than twiners, so a lot of them were lying flat on the ground this morning when I went out to check the garden at daybreak. I picked up the vines off the ground and loosely zip-tied them to the trellis.

    For as strong as the winds were, I expected the corn to lodge and for at least some tomato plants/cages to be on the ground, but neither thing happened, so we were really lucky.

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, I quit watching because I was busy. It was our anniversary and since we had already been out to dinner twice this week (Rib Crib & Red Lobster), I decided to cook for us and also for my neighbor, so I was just watching it between trips to the kitchen. It looked like it was to far south to hit my family, and appeared to be going mostly SE when I was watching, but there was one "tracking arrow" on the screen that was pointing east NE. It looked like one cell but traveling two different directions. I just thought the rotation in it was confusing the instruments.

    Tulsa TV6 has changed their interactive screen recently and I can watch those southern areas more closely than I could before. They have always had seven thumbnail areas that we could click on and watch the viewing area of the station, but now if you are on the State map, you can roll over it and highlight areas and when you click on that, you can see a close-up map of all of the State except for the west end of the panhandle (sorry Jay). It works great from Guymon east. I'll link it below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tulsa TV6

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