El Nino and Wrong Season Blooms

Out of Season Blooms and Winter Storm Jonas

Several of our landscape Spring Bloomers were popping out mostly on the upper SW sides of the trees, not to mention, bulbs, Hydrangeas, Forsythia, and the list goes on, depending on your exposure.
So what can we expect in the coming season, especially with this past weeks big snow? It’s kinda simple really. Those “pre-bloomers”, were just showing off. We’ve had a lot of rain, which leached the nutrients down past most root beds. So, putting the plant in a “distress” situation, it needed to partially leaf, for Photosynthesis, then bloom… They will recover, because they need to leaf, bloom, produce, in the coming, “Right” season.

Keep in mind, snow is loaded with Nitrogen, as well as a thermal, slow irrigating, part of gardening. Worst part about it really, is going to be an abundance of Dandelions. See, they have a deep taproot, that brings Nitrogen from the deeps, back to the top of your soil beds. It’s their job, even if the seeds were dormant, for up to 7 years!!! Clover on the other hand, may be actually less, because that “plant” corrects the lack of Nitrogen in the soil. Well, I think we got plenty from Jonas. Weeds can tell you a lot about soil conditions. For a great PDF chart, this may help make sense, before you spray!!
Spring Blooming live goods will be OK, maybe even more prolific than normal, depending on the coming “La Nina”, which usually follows a powerful “El Nino” like we are experiencing now. Warm Wet Baby with a coming Cool Dry Baby, may impact some of the “self pollinizing” plants and trees, but still, may also have you picking way more than you think. It’s a Ma Nature Timing thing. Remember last year, “Polar Vortex” we had some trees actually rupturing at the base in mid March, due to the fact, they were coming into season, pulling up moisture, budding, and then some minus 0 wind chills, made the lower trunks freeze, and explode. Same with Japonica Camellias and a few early blooming Rhodo’s and big buds rupturing. So be happy, your “early-out-of-season-bloomers”, did so, proving they are also anxious to perform this year.

Just make sure you are still keeping up your Winter chores, as well as documenting it in your Garden Journals, at least with digital pics with a time date stamp accurately showing the “mis-fire”. If some new shoots got burned with the Winter temps, prune as you would normally during the “right” season, to make them come on again. Remember, “They have to”… They just do.

Advertisements

Ma Nature’s Mayhem

OK, let’s see what we’re facing here for just a bit. Everyone is checking my “Winter Weather” post, thinking I am going to update it. Nope. I think I’ll let it fly like it is. Here’s why:

Since I have been playing around with data, trends, and phenology, I have found similarities of events due to the Southern Oscillation changes, especially in the last decade. But there is something that bothers me about weather guessers on the tube. The phrase, “warmer than normal” is a hoax. Average, maybe, normal, I don’t buy into that. My recollections about Summer/Winter weather events over my 52 years is about as accurate as can be. But there is one simple thing that people are not taking into account on the “Mayhem” we are being subject to. Here it is:

Krakatoa, the Earth shifted 3 degrees off its axis. Weather didn’t catch up with the rotation for about 25 years. Look it up, I did just because the notion hit me to do so. Then, the December earthquake in Indonesia a few years ago, same thing, 3 more degrees. Now here in Va., we are being annoyed by the quaking here in Louisa since, I think, June. Big 5.3 or so, followed by about 60, averaging in the 2.4 range. Arkansas, has had 9 in the last 2 days, averaging in the 2.5 range. South Carolina, yesterday alone had 2 at 2.6 within minutes of each other. Ohio and Pa. are on the “constant tremor” list as well. Here is MY theory. Simply put, the Earth is shifting its innards to catch up with its new rotation, kinda like the washing machine when all the jeans get to one side on the spin cycle. See? Simple wasn’t it? If you GPS the North Pole, you could get there easily and accurately. Use a compass? Not so easy, see, Magnetic North isn’t there anymore. Columbus would never find his way back here. The Earths Iron Core is also on the move. Look it up, I did. Don’t know why, I just did.

So. Now for the reason of this post. Ma Nature is desperately trying to compensate for the shift, putting weather/seasons back where they belong. Kinda like tossing a tennis ball up in the air in a moving vehicle. All’s well until it turns. Come on, you all remember HS Physics class right? The cold domes last year were coming out of Western Canada, pushing across all the way to the Carolinas. Same the year before. This year, coming down from Montana/North Dakota areas. Texas already has had a blizzard this year. Won’t be long until the daylight hours start getting longer in January, and we get that cccccold miserable time of year. But my feeling is it will last thru March. The Tropics are still pushing off of Cape Verde Islands, bringing constant 7 day moisture to us up from the Gulf, only a matter of time until they weaken, and meet here in Va…. and we all know what late Winter storms coming from the South means for us, yep, ICE! As of this post, we are at 56 degrees and it will get to 67 today. First day of winter, and yet its still Fall. Winter is coming when it’s supposed to. And it will be a long one. See? Average for the last 30 year cyclic weather trends… Average. The use of the term “normal” puts a scare in folks and they run around crying “global warming” over and over again, while professing to be “eco-friendly”, but yet still over fertilizing at the wrong time because they don’t watch the weather, they just read the chart on the bag or listen to the commercial. So I think I will inject a new phrase to the “Normal” watchers, and that is “Global Mayhem”… It’s easy to account for your actions from now on, right? Watch the weather, not the calender.

Never Snows in Richmond?

For all the folks who move here in the “off” winter years, who say it never snows here, for the retired extension agent doofus who just last week in the Times Dispatch, suggested we all start planting Zone 8 plants here, for all of you who wipe out the grocery stores in a mad dash for a “dusting” all the time…. HEY, IT’S SNOWING… Mark your calender, set an appointment on your PC for 5 years from now, and it will happen again, BUT… If you look at the 20 year history of Richmond, we may get hammered next year even worse. Last Spring was the 15 year “Early Bloom”. (This is what a digital camera is excellent for). Usually when that happens we have this nice 12″ or so storm. Within the next year or so, we will probably need to go the the grocery store again. The squirrels knew it. I have not seen so many of you with attic squirrel problems in a long time. The pest control folks are making a “killing” (get it?) this year. Hey, that’s a little phenology aspect for you. Squirrels in the attic? Go to the grocery store, fill up your tank, and don’t forget the liquor store. Get your new sled while you see them in November, (studies show that looking for sleds while it’s snowing is a bust), and sit back and wait. It will come. FoodNetwork.com may have a robust squirrel recipe, so get to Trader Joe’s and get a 2 Buck Chuck red wine. You may lose power, and it will be off for a good while, because most people don’t go out in their own yard, look up and see the limbs on the power line and call someone to take care of it. Too bad. It gets cold when the power is out, especially when the sun goes down. Hey, remember the squirrel in the attic? You could make a hat! Or a glove! You could even work up a sweat chasing it around or running from it. Look at Clark Griswold during the “squirrel” scene. He was sweating.  Speaking of phenology, the old “tons of acorns on the ground rumor” may be false. Some dude at Cornell University had an article last year on this. Hard winter coming, the squirrels will be getting them before they drop. Mild winters, ehhh, who needs them, let them fall. I had none on the ground this year. It’s been a long, coldish Fall/Winter.  I think on the 5th of March, we will have gained  2 hrs of daylight since the week of Christmas. And I don’t think we have seen the last wintry weather for this year. I’m betting on another dusting, so be ready to crowd the stores and empty them out. Hey maybe a little Ice Storm like the Easter of 2007. That was great fun huh? Fried everything in bloom.

I dunno.. I think we are still in zone 7a, but then again, I’m not a doofus. The sky isn’t really falling, is it?