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Greywolf
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NOTES: winter to spring, by an amateur Naturalist

(as opposed to "Naturist" - but this is not the appropriate website for anything like that...)

I have the following from another website I contributed to:
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 11 days until the predicted last frost here. (Memphis Area)
I should have some pictures up tomorrow - I noticed the trees don't show any sign of leaves yet, but some ground plants have come up and flowered (DAFFODILS!), which looks hopeful.

3-25-2010
I see buds on my trees now - the bushes began to bud almost dead on the day the F/A ("Farmers Almanac")listed as the last frost (MAR-20-2010).

Apr 13, 2010 - old pumpkin seeds come out of ground - germinated two weeks ago?

- I claim full rights to those observations no matter what the hell they say at "the other place"!

What I see in this, is that the old pumpkin seeds (they were there because I ran over a punkin' with a riding mower) chose the right time to germinate and come out based on natural terms. The right amount of rain, temperature, etc...

Since those seeds need about ten to fourteen days to "LAUNCH" what that tells me is that when they began to sprout was the ideal time to plant seeds outdoors directly - and I am looking at that in terms of the last frost prediction.

Does this mean that when buds or signs of new leaf growth on trees appears, it is the ideal moment to put seed directly into the ground outdoors?

First the Daffodils come, then the Bushes and Shrubs begin to leaf - and this should serve as a count-down-timer for you and I as well, then the trees begin to leaf.

THAT is when seeds can be planted OUTSIDE!!!

~Dutch


Tell me that isn't one heck of an interesting insight....
That the vegetation surrounding us can tell us when it is right - no matter what is going on with the weather that season.
Le Revanchist du Finances

There is no such thing as a "STUPID QUESTION"
~ Unless you or I fail to ask it in time...

Susan W
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Sounds good, on paper. Or is that keyboard and in mind....
Combinations of warm, light, water etc get things chunking. As in popping up from ground, leafs and blooms, and all. So you have a couple of warm and delicious weeks, things happen. Cold front from H comes through.
Some stuff in garden is back to square 1. Then the peach and other fruit trees, sometimes much potential fruit lost.
Hey, frost date is April 15! Of course there could be the cold front from H after this!
Just some cheery observations....
Have fun!
Susan

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

That's the theory behind [url=https://www.ghorganics.com/Phenology.html]Phenology[/url]. It's a cool concept and I'm basing most of my planting schedule on this idea this spring. I think it's fantastic that you're keeping notes -- accumulated, you'll have your own set of nature's signs to compare with established/accepted ones and see how well they relate as well as adjust for local micro-climates.

They say that you should look to the older trees for guidance, because they have experienced the change in seasons much longer than the younger "whipper snappers." So, for example, peach trees are not always a good guide because their prime fruiting years are relatively young and they are usually not long-lived. Also fruit trees in an orchard live in artificial conditions, not entirely connected to the whole of nature. Daffodils too, look at naturalized colonies rather than newly planted bulbs.

Keep posting your observations!
I posted some of mine here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=124049&highlight=phenology#124049
and here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=124869&highlight=phenology#124869

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Greywolf
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Location: Western Tennessee

What I can say definitely at this time, is that much of the greenery around the northern outlying areas of Memphis Tennessee are now leafing prolifically!

It is GREEN all around and about here now...

Because the beginning of the growing season is critical to getting that "HEAD START" in planting, I have been watching for any clues like that I can gain - because the natural environment (regardless of weather vagueries) reflects the timing of adapted native plants which tend to stay dormant until the time is "Just SO", and therefore when they come out - it is likely safe for other plants to be set as well.

The trees I have been watching include native adapted Maple, and Pecan - among others. I do not know that Maple is a tree that can have been other than brought here from farther north - but the Pecan trees may be native to the area. I'm not sure of that. It appears that they were once planted as boundary markers for the property - in the old days trees were used for that, and often an observant individual can spot old property lines based on where trees were purposely grown for that reason (fences were seldom known in rural areas of the south).

For those who insist on a fence in the modern age, such trees prove an obstacle that must be "Fenced Around" :wink:

The bushes I noted are a local variety of shrub, that I intend to use extensively as privacy hedges. They grow wild in the woods hereabouts, and can be readily transplanted with a great deal of success...

I have relocated several already, and if you would like I will post pictures of all of these.

At any rate - these ideas are nearly folklore in some places:

"When the trees green - Plant seed"

And so on...

The local foliage knows well what is to come, when they wait - we should too! Relying not on our own sences but on THEIRS!

This principle can be used in any climate. I live in the south - you may live wherever. But the plants where you live will also have that "Innate Sense of Timing" that forwards their own survival.


~Dutch
Le Revanchist du Finances

There is no such thing as a "STUPID QUESTION"
~ Unless you or I fail to ask it in time...

johnnytomatoseed
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natural signals for seed planting timing

:) What is happening naturally in your invironment may have nothing to do with appropriates times to plant.if I tried planting garden seeds here in my lovely but sometimes unpredictable state ....ooops. We have many natural vegetations bursting at the buds ready to open forth. The tender seeds would lay and either rot or wait until the conditions are right for them
in a warm southern state this theory might be very true. In any case i think your thoughts are in the right place. Observe nature and imitate it as closely as we can. Happy gardening. johnboy
John R. Hartman

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applestar
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So, out of curiosity, are forsythias blooming in your area? How about dogwoods?

Out of the spring bulbs -- crocuses? daffodils? tulips?

Susan W
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Interesting discussion.
BTW, forsythia, daffodils about history, crocus long history, dogwood and redbud still showing color.
Back to square one.
We have different senses on WHEN to plant various things. By the greening of the leaves? Valid as any.
When garden centers bring stuff in? Am I laughing? Having had to pull many flats of annuals in when the Cold Wave from H came through, have a tainted view. And box stores just get stuff arriving daily, without much direction.

On this same or varied note, was talking to a friend in S Alabama. He was going to put out his tomatoes, peppers etc Easter, as his Grandpa had always done that. I asked about the Date of Easter varying, and no logical response.

Back to checking on my plant starts....
Have fun!
Susan

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Greywolf
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Location: Western Tennessee

The Daffodils in the yards and woods around my place are pretty much all wild plants now - they went native long ago, and pop up like weeds everywhere. I didn't even know what they were until joining here and posting a "WHAT IS IT?" thread a week or two back...

Forsythia I wouldn't know from Adam, to be honest, I have to be candid there.

Daytime temperatures in my semi-rural community - which is about fifteen or twenty miles north of the city of Memphis itself - are now running 85+ F. Nightime temps drop to about 55 - 60 at the lowest, and it seems to be a steady warming trend.

I've been trying to think of other "TELLS" that I should be looking for, such as flowers on the pecan trees (and they are fairly old established trees, at least 75 feet tall), on the local bushes and shrubs, and also one of my favorite things - When the FIREFLIES come out!

I love it when the little green lights begin to flash in the evening, like fairies dancing in the treelines... Summertime wouldn't be the same without "Firefly Magic" :wink:

I note that last week there was a tremendous pollen dusting from some of the trees around me or something - it dusted the plastic tarps on two of my plots so that they looked like someone had oversprayed zinc chromate on them. Therefore even though I didn't notice a flower UNO on any trees, that stuff had to come from somewhere - and pollen I generally take to come from a flower of some kind. Bright lime green, whatever it was...

It seemed kind of abrupt, just one morning SPLAT! there it was; Green dust on black plastic. It has not been repeated since and all of it that there was came down within a 48 hour period...

I'm kind of chiding myself now for not taking note of the precise date - but I had forgotten that I was tracking things like that elsewhere and it had not yet occurred to me to do the same here.

I think I am going to have to get a paid for account at Photobucket in order to save and show all of the things I see around me. It doesn't seem all that expensive in light of the good it can do in terms of saved images over time

If any of the readers of this can think of changes that I ought to watch for (either subtle or blatant) I will add them to my list of seasonal observations. What use would a weather station (for example) be, if all that it reported was "NOPE, it ain't rainin' today..."

Perhaps in all of this we can develop a set (or list) of natural clues as to what is going on, what those clues mean, what to watch for, and what they are associated with...


~Dutch J.
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There is no such thing as a "STUPID QUESTION"
~ Unless you or I fail to ask it in time...

johnnytomatoseed
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Location: marysville michigan

planting time

:D I am not sure if you are asking me , applestar , about Forsythia and dogwoods blooming. If you are yes spring bulbs are. No dogwood isnt. Yes Forsythia is. Sweet cherries are.Less than 5 miles west of here , away from the Large moderating lake Huron , the answers may be a little different.
Today the temp is about 75 , friday it is supposed to be about 30 degrees cooler daytime and near freezing night time. The cherries could suffer.Frost damage , no pollinator criiters ( except flies ) windburn.
I think any approach to raising and caring for plant life that pleases the gardener and is as gentle as possible on nature is good or at least worth while. happy gardening. john boy
John R. Hartman

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Greywolf
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Location: Western Tennessee

17April: I noticed today that a number of my trees have burst into bloom with small white flowers, so the trees have the advantage when it comes to setting flowers early.

5May: Fireflies have begun to appear, hi temp was 95F, the hottest it has gotten so far. No pepper seeds that were planted outdoors have come up so far, but with this temperature maybe soon.
Le Revanchist du Finances

There is no such thing as a "STUPID QUESTION"
~ Unless you or I fail to ask it in time...



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