We have had a fairly mild winter, but if you are like me you are looking forward to spring and warm weather. But when is that?
Because of newsletter deadlines I happened to have started composing this on Ground Hog Day. That got me started thinking about theories and tales of when spring starts and the danger of frost is past. Here are a few. I hope you find them somewhat informative and maybe even amusing.
Ground Hog Day is February 2. I do not know how it got started, but up in Pennsylvania a ground hog named Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow and if he sees his shadow that means six more weeks of winter. This year he did not see his shadow, so based on this “theory” we will have an early spring. But Phil lives in Pennsylvania. So what does that mean for us in South Texas? We will have to wait and see.
My maternal grandparents were farmers, a group that probably has enough weather tales to fill a book. About this time of year my grandmother, an avid gardener, always said we could have frost anytime up to Easter, which March 27 this year. My grandfather, on the other hand, believed that frost was possible anytime before the mesquite tree leafed out. If you want to test these positions, there is a mesquite tree in the side yard at 735 E. Guenther St. So again, we will just have to be patient.
And lastly, we come to all the weathermen on radio, television and in newspapers. On any given day, their forecasts are slightly different from one another. I have read that their consensus, based on historical records, is that the last average frost is the first weekend of March. Again, wait and see.
As to what to plant and when, I am hedging my bets and say wait until at least early March to plant warm weather plants. Nurseries will soon get new inventories of plants and have great sales. Take advantage of these sales, but hold off planting for a while.
From The Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations – “A classic, something that everyone wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”
Garden Note: There is nothing more relaxing than to:
Sit in the garden with a cool drink,
Smell the flowers,Listen to the melody of a wind chime and birds singing, and
Watch birds fly from feeder to birdbath.