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Above average temperatures

djacob Z6a SE WI
4 months ago

In Milwaukee WI we are having above average temperatures. Today was in the low to mid 50s F. I am afraid I will see buds and pips any day now. Anyone else in the same boat??


debra

Comments (75)

  • Ben D (zone 7b)
    3 months ago

    David, that was my problem last year -- a warm February followed by a late hard freeze. I lost multiple hostas in containers that had started to pip out prior to the freeze. Several in the ground were set back either by the late freeze and/or voles. A couple of camellias died back almost to the ground but eventually recovered enough to keep them in place.

  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    My 7-8 foot Camellia japonica is flirting with blooming, fortunately just a few opened, most seem to be holding back. My variety has flowers that will survive some freezing, but concerned, as in extended, all above freezing at night and temps into the 50's by day. Ground is super saturated, we just had a statewide (NJ) rainfall of 3-5 inches in a day, now another round of 3 inches. I think we are up to break all time December rainfall records across the state.

    P.S., Ha, ha, a friend just asked if I'd rather have a record-breaking SNOWY December (December is usually completely snowless here, that occurs some time in January and February, but the March storms are the worst (along the coast, March means major temp differences between north and south and megastorms). After a certain age, snow becomes a four-letter WORD.

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  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Our crazy weather continues, we had our snow last night, but still have not broken the 700 day plus day record of no recordable ground snow. Just to the northwest of me, there was 6-8 inches of heavy, wet snow. Now, the forecast is calling for a major storm in affect the Gulf, Southeast, Midwest and then the Northeast with 3-5 inches of rainfall on a already soaked ground, with winds in excess of 55 mph. This storm was a has a strong Spring storm component to it, so tornadoes are forecast to be an issue in the South. With temperatures rising rapidly through the 50's near 60 F., widespread flooding is expected.


    P.S., Regarding the Cryptomeria, one of my favorite trees.

    P.S.2, Camellia opening up more flowers, did not used to do this in December and January.

  • bkay2000
    3 months ago

    We finally got a "hard freeze" last night. It appears that even So Sweet is going down.

    There is going to be something like 50 straight hours of below freezing temperatures. I hope it helps with chilling hours.

    I spent a bunch of money on new hosta last winter. If they don't make it, I will give up on hosta (sob, sob).

    bkay

  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    3 months ago

    Long given up on Hosta, gorgeous varieities out there, DEER love them ALL!

  • Jeb zone 5
    last month

    The temperatures have remained above average all winter here in north east Ohio. We have had a couple of "cold snaps" and very little snow for an area that can get (used to get?) a lot of snow that would persist all winter. Now we tend to get open winters with very little precipitation and mild temperatures but we can still get a very cold snowy winter here too, it is a crapshoot. The weather has been very weird. The skies have been crystal blue and clear for the last couple of weeks. The future forecast looks like temperatures in the 40s, 50s and 60s for the next ten days. It is normally in the 20s 30s and 40s this time of year. This year they have tapped the sugar maples for sap the earliest ever, and the red winged blackbirds returned their earliest here which is always a good indication that the weather will warm up sooner than later.

    My fear is that the growth in the garden will be advanced too early this season and then we will get hit with more traditional winter weather that could ruin everything. My bigger fear is that the climate pattern has changed dramatically and even though the climate will continue to change and fluctuate and evolve on its own as it always has, I can't help but think that human activity has had a huge impact and the weather (and climate) will become even more extreme. When we have such a mild winter I have payed attention and it is usually followed by an even drier than the year before, hotter than the year before summer.


    I hope you all have a wonderful springtime! It is supposed to be near 60F here today with no clouds and sun. It is T - shirt and shorts weather!

  • bkay2000
    last month

    I heard (where, I don't remember) that there were two events going on this year that make it a warm winter. One is El Nino, which is something something about the ocean temps in the Pacific. The other is something about the activity of the sun.

    We had an El Nino year a few years back. It rained so much that winter that it rotted most of my Irises - even some cemetery iris (which you usually can't kill with a stick). We've had nothing like that amount of rain this winter.

  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    El niño played a role, then there was that massive under water volcano that erupted in the Pacific and dumped BILLONS of tons of water vapor into the atmosphere (water vapor is a superb greenhouse gas!), not sure how much sun spots have to do with global temperatures though. Just compare earth to Venus, our nearest neighbor, Venus is HELL with over 800 F temps, day and night, pole to pole, all year long, YES, the solar distance matters but the atmospheric differences seem too be even more important. And going outward, Mars too has temperatures much colder than one might expect, but that is because it lacks a decent atmosphere, Venus has TOO MUCH! Earth has been LUCKY! Locally, NJ, Zone 7b, been a very WET year, mostly all rain, ground saturated, Spring temps are now forecast and I will be taking out the subtropicals soon. For NJ, is has gotten MUCH WETTER, later frosts in the Fall, longer growing season, but also more flash droughts in the Spring and Summer, Winters seem much wetter, there used to be dry winters, not anymore. Summers can alternate now between droughty and monsoonal, sometimes in the same season. Supposed to be going into la niña soon, so cooler Pacific, but those years also mean more Atlantic hurricanes for the US.

  • karin_mt
    last month

    This is a great thread - and an important one. I'm an earth scientist and I've been working in climate and energy for most of my career. Also a major gardener, of course!


    The reason for the warmer weather is human activity, I'm sorry to say. Greenhouse gases are sort of like frost blankets on the tomatoes - they trap heat inside the blanket. It's not great news, but on the flip side, at least it's something we can ultimately change, as opposed to some external factor that we can't control.


    El Nino has added a bit of extra warmth on top of that, as it usually does, but it's not the leading cause of the record-breaking warmth we're seeing.


    The Hunga Tonga volcano appears to have only a small influence on temperatures.


    This is a short explainer by one of my NASA colleagues and it's a nice quick summary of why things are heating up so much. Hopefully it's helpful!

    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/152313/five-factors-to-explain-the-record-heat-in-2023


  • artinnature
    last month

    Well, in the PNW where I garden, and this may be true for much of the USA, it isn't simply warming, though on average, it is. The problem is, we're getting general warming briefly interrupted by Arctic Blasts that are dramatically colder than average. And that one Arctic Blast is all it takes to whack your Z9, Z8 or even Z7 woody plant back to bare stubs. I think the technical reason for this is that our jet-stream , now with added anthropogenic energy, has become very erratic, allowing bubbles of arctic air to dip waaay below the arctic...all the way to Texas and the Gulf. The effect on plants is that they start growing sooner, and stop growing later, meaning less hardening off and more susceptibility to freezing temps. My Hydrangea macrophyllas all have a tremendous amount of new growth, and we're supposed to be getting lows of 29F, 27F, 29F, and 30F the next four mornings...and its only March 4, we could get much colder in the coming weeks.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    we could get much colder in the coming weeks.

    We were corresponding with relatives who reside in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and they are experiencing, as of March 5 of 8:13 am EST/7:13 am CST -32C/-26F.......ay caramba!

  • karin_mt
    last month

    Absolutely, Artinnature - that's a great point.


    A warming atmosphere brings all kinds of effects, in addition to the warming trend. Flood, drought, fire, more powerful storms, and so on. Just about every type of extreme weather is becoming more extreme with our supercharged atmosphere.


    Big cold snaps have become less common and less cold, overall, but the contrast between too warm and too cold is concerning.


    As yet, there's some evidence that the jet stream wobbles are related to climate change, but the evidence is still developing. So it remains an active area of research. But it very well may be a consequence of climate change - among many other effects that make gardening more challenging!

  • undertheoaksgardener7b
    last month

    I have so.many.pips.

  • romanszone8
    last month

    Pips, buds, blooms oh my!!!

    I’m in a transition zone but still have one suspected frost so I’m hoping sheets will do the trick.

    BRING ON SPRING!

    the pollen was so bad last year, my entire car was coated yellow. Not looking forward to that week!

  • undertheoaksgardener7b
    last month

    Beautiful camellias!

  • lindalana 5b Chicago
    last month

    Here we are about 3 weeks ahead of usual schedule. Last spring like this was 2015 by mid May my hostas were fully out and about.

    I have to adjust all my gardening chores now, seed starting and planting veggies dates. We were on drier side over the winter but not bad, soil is saturated now.

  • bkay2000
    last month

    Most of mine are up. I have a photo stuck in my downloader or camera (don't know which), so I haven't been able to post photos. However, Irish Luck, Squash Casserole, LS Midmight Miss and Royal Standard have filled the pot. Others are almost there.

    The ones that hadn't gone dormant in January may not make it. Hole Mole was flowering in January. it hasn't come up yet, so I guess it's dead. My all time favorite hosta, So Sweet, looks like it might not recover, either. It's just few little baby hosta at this point. I will need to repot it into a smaller pot (if it ever stops raining).

    It appears that we have skirted the dreaded late cold snap. Yea!!!!!

    bkay

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    41North - I have that same feeling, that it's the extremes that we will continue to deal with, first all this rain and then not enough rain.

    This weather is nothing like what it was when I was growing up. We had clear seasons and extremes were not the usual. Winters were snowy and cold. One winter in the past 10 years it was 70F in January and I found seeds germinating in the backyard. THAT never happened in my past.

    I agree, this is the normal now. I just hope there is not another new normal that is worse than this around the corner.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    41North - I meant to add....that even if we have drought coming up in the growing season, for me at least, the periods of wet weather have been very good for my garden. My trees especially have improved in the last two years that I had more rain, then the 3 years before that, when they were too dry. Actually, the most damage I've had to a tree, was two years ago when we had a badly timed cold snap and I had a lot of dying branches in my Japanese Maple. The tree is about 30 years old and we never had that happen before. We've had a lot of wet weather and I'm hoping this season that Japanese Maple might fill in a little more. We've had a lot of wind lately and a lot of dead branches have fallen from that Japanese Maple, which was great, because they were at the crown of the tree where we couldn't reach them. My arborvitae and Taxus are full and dark green without any brown tips.

    Last year, we had so much cloudy weather that bloom in my garden was later and diminished. Tomatoes were late too. My pepper production was the loweat I've had. This year is not looking much better so far.

    I wonder if this is how the earth is trying to cope and fix all the problems we have created for it. I don't have any faith in all the ideas people have come up with for how to address these issues. Just a few ideas that I don't agree with ... that some people believe we should be trying to reduce the population of livestock to reduce carbon. Crazy. Stripping trees and filling acreage with panels of solar panels. If it is up to people to figure it out and act on it, it's these same people who have made the mistakes that got us here in the first place. Maybe there are just too many people on the planet.

  • bkay2000
    last month

    Probably so.

    bkay

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    last month

    Spring Flowers Bloom Weeks Earlier Than Just Decades Ago, Study Finds


    ://www.sciencealert.com/spring-flowers-bloom-weeks-earlier-than-just-decades-ago-study-finds

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month

    Yes, the spring blooms were okay last year, it was the summer plants, the annuals and veggies especially.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    " In the South, this species went into serious decline due to a white mildew or such, not so in the North, they are just too vigorous now."

    Actually, the affliction is Entomosporium orphotinia leaf spot (Diplocarpon mespili) and it is just as prevalent up here in the PNW as it is in many other, hotter parts of the country. Consistent annual defoliation weakens the plant and can lead to death as well as producing a massively unsightly garden presence. It is also just as likely to be present eventually (if not already) in your neck of the woods as well.

    This plant is often considered a small tree, much like an English/cherry laurel, and can easily reach 20-30 feet tall.


  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    last month

    "Record-breaking rhododendron blooms a month early"


    https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cnekgjx19n9o

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    last month

    For sure @davidrt28 (zone 7) "your" picture is way better as the inclusion of the "little people" gives one a the proper perspective of the sheer size of the grove. Incredible.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    last month

    A bit of a cold weather 'blip' these days:


    -11C/12F this past hour. Snow covering the ground with more to come tmr.

  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada
    29 days ago

    Yes rouge a "blip" indeed. It had been warm for weeks and now cold. All of my snow has been gone for a about 3 weeks. Normally I would still have a foot or two. We had snow a couple of times this week that melted but Fri. we are supposed to get 5cm. Snow cover is my friend and as much as I have enjoyed this mild winter I am slightly concerned, mostly for beds redone last fall.

  • djacob Z6a SE WI
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Yes, snow is coming to me as well. They are predicting 70% chance of 4-8 inches starting tonight at 2 a.m. and ending Saturday at 2 a.m. I have no snow cover at all right now. Blah! 😝

    I am not thrilled about this, but we need the moisture! Sigh…..

    debra

  • djacob Z6a SE WI
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    David, that is a most amazing picture! I never knew a rhododendron could get that humongous!!

    debra

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    Snow cover is my friend and as much as I have enjoyed this mild winter I am slightly concerned, mostly for beds redone last fall

    but we need the moisture!

    I have wondered about 'this' i.e. the importance of snow cover as it pertains to moisture content in the soil going into the spring.

    In our area for sure we have had significantly less snow fall than is usual but I am thinking that we have had correspondingly more rain this winter and so does it really matter for soil moisture if it comes as snow or rain? Just musing.

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    28 days ago

    It's been snowing since very early morning here, and is predicted to continue through this evening. Then we're back up into the 50s in the next couple days.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    28 days ago

    The snow seems pretty widespread; over the next 24 hours as we are supposed to get 10 cm/4"....maybe the most snow we will have gotten this whole winter...crazy little.

  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada
    28 days ago

    "does it really matter for soil moisture if it comes as snow or rain?"

    I would say no but it depends on the zone and the temperatures within it. A few years ago in Nov. it poured rain for days and then froze solid in the areas several miles either side of me. Those people had severe losses because the water froze the plant tissue including the roots. I had no losses since I got snow instead of rain.

    My concern this year is not the lack of moisture. Plants have emerged in the warm weather. It is the cold penetrating the soil now without the benefit of snow insulation that concerns me a bit.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    28 days ago

    Plants have emerged in the warm weather. It is the cold penetrating the soil now without the benefit of snow insulation that concerns me a bit.


    Given the many plants that as you have noted "have emerged in the warm weather" I dont think snow cover added now, with this storm, is going to help any?



  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    No, really no help since we are getting less than 5cm (under 2") spread out over 2 days with just above freezing temps. Well above freezing starting Mon. Polemonium 'Purple Rain' & Digitalis 'Arctic Fox Rose' that I planted last fall have been up and growing for weeks. Those I am concerned about.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    28 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago



    As my partner commented this morning:

    "Looking back we did have a green Christmas and New Years but with this snowfall it might be possible that we could have a WHITE EASTER." Who woulda thunk?!

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    27 days ago

    The warm weather we had made my hosta pots in the garage begin to grow. I have so many pots wanting to come out of the garage and yet the weather is too cold now! Our nights have been below 0c and day temperatures very cool near 0c. Tonight we are going down to -9c. Tomorrow -1c all day. I even have pips that are 4-5 inches high. I wonder how long they can stay in the garage before they suffer in some way. I'm not liking this start to spring.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Well, I don't know how long we are going to be in a hold pattern, but, I'm a lot further south than you are. My forecast is for cool/windy/cloudy/gray for the next 7 days. *sigh* It can't be long before we get some nice spring weather, right?

    I think your hostas might just need some light. Not a lot because they are shade lovers, but if the new growth is up that high, could you bring them outside the garage during the day if it is warm enough, then back in the garage for the overnight?

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    27 days ago

    Prairiemoon, I hope your forecast changes and you get some nice weather soon.

    Now my pots have been in the garage for several days, but I will bring them out for the day when I can. That might be Monday.

    As much as I love my hosta, this is the earliest they have woken up. So I will have to watch out for frosts until we hit frost free temperatures. I find also that the squirrels are eager to dig in the pots when it is early in the season. I hate that!

  • ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida
    27 days ago

    There is only one answer to what happened to the weather. Remember when on The Big Bang Theory, the boys minus Sheldon were in the desert to watch a meteor shower. Well, after they got into the teacher's cookies and when the world was spinning too fast for Leanord Raj slowed it down for him offsetting our temperatures. That is my story, and I am sticking to it. A photo as it really happened.



  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    22 days ago

    I do my best to take note of the first daffodil to bloom. (It is kind of cool to see the singleton out of about 100 to 150 to be the first)


    So the first opened on Tuesday March 26/24 and last year the first happened on April 12/23...so 2.5 weeks earlier.


    (If it wasn't for the snowstorm and cold weather we got mid March, it would have opened even earlier).

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I usually forget to note the dates, so I have a rule, to take photos so I always have a record of the first to bloom. Most of the time, I remember. [g]

  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    22 days ago

    Daffydills, Jonquis, and Hyacinth are at peak. Cherry blooms and other ornamental flowing trees are starting to show color. Northern magnolias starting show some floral color. Too much rain though.

  • djacob Z6a SE WI
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    I wish rain were a problem here….we have been in drought for a couple years now.

    debra

  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Amazing, it has not stopped raining here in North Jersey, soils are supersaturated. Been like this all Winter and now into Spring

    precip

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    22 days ago

    Narcissus are pretty much over here but tulips are coming on strong! Skagit Valle Tulip Festival due to start on schedule 4/1. Forsythia, Indian plum, cherries, purple leaf plums and early magnolias all in flower and the first of the rhodies are showing color.

    Remarkably, not as rainy here as one would expect for this time of year but not particularly warm either.


    My trillium today.........waiting to be planted at new garden


  • 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    Gorgeous today, but see a stretch of cloudy and cool days. Hellebores are blooming, again. Some bloom in mid winter, but I don't go out looking for them in the cold.





    And Camellias still going strong. They have been in bloom since November, but not has heavy as now.



  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    20 days ago

    Wow, that's a gorgeous trillium, GardenGal!

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Thanks mxk3 - it's pretty special to me and has long and somewhat checkered back story but is one of my favorite plants. It is a cultivar of chloropetalum called 'Volcano' and was developed in NZ by tissue culture. The success rate of the TC was low so they discontinued it and it's now no longer available commercially.

    As you can see it is quite a robust plant - this is half of my original plant - with nicely marked leaves and lots of big, deep red flowers. Apparently tolerates considerable neglect as it has been growing and flowering happily in the same container for more years than I care to admit!!