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Sign of a bad winter coming?

 
pollinator
Posts: 3590
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Marco Banks wrote:It's cooled off enough that I started a bunch of new veggies in pots this morning.  I planted three different varieties of cabbage (two regular, and a red variety)—six pots of each.  Also Swiss Chard, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and head lettuce.  All total, about 35 pots of stuff.  Now I wait for it to sprout and my winter garden is underway.  Every two weeks, I'll plant some more.

We had an unusually hot fall, with temps in the 90's the past couple of weeks.  But last week cooled off and this week I'm starting the nursery back up.  They're even predicting some rain for next week (although we'll see if it actually happens).  We haven't had a drop of rain since early March.  Yup -- winter is upon us.

A "bad" winter is when we get less than 10 or 12 inches of rain.  I just hope we get 250 or so chill hours.  A good winter is 18 inches of rain, and 300+ chill hours, hopefully accumulated around Christmas or New Year.  When we get a wet year, it'll be in January with these long 2 to 3 day storms that sit over the Los Angeles basin and scrub the skies of smog.  Los Angeles is a giant concrete surface, with all the creeks and rivers turned into concrete channels many years ago.  But there is a movement afoot to tear out a lot of that hardscaping, to restore the rivers, and to capture as much of that rainwater as we can.  People freak out when it rains a half-inch ("How can we even drive in that stuff!") but I love it.  I channel as much of the water that falls on my house to go out to the orchard and soak the soil.  I'd like to find a way to catch the water that falls on the street in front of the house and pump it to the back yard where it will be stored in the soil.  Some day I'll dig some sort of sump and install a pump to capture that water before it flows into the storm drain and out to the ocean.

So let winter come!  Let it rain!  Let my little cabbages sprout and grow!  Let the oranges get ripe and the avocados keep getting fatter — it's winter!



Sign of a bad winter: those out of the temperate zone gloat incessantly about their problems involving too much water, and the need to maybe put on a long tee.

I love winter. I just wish that I was in a nice, tight cabin, with a winter's worth of stores and a nice efficient woodstove or RMH. That way, I go out to enjoy it on my terms, and not have to slog through it five days a week to work and back.

-CK
 
Posts: 49
Location: Georgia, USA
10
hugelkultur chicken bee
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About fire ants.
Here in Georgia fire ants love cultivated soil. Hide in my garden. Can’t go out there without getting bite.
I discovered horticulture orange oil. Pour it on fire ant beds . Kills them! You can also save citrus peels in the freezer. Grind them up , add water, pour it on the beds. Dead!

My brother in Texas has been pouring melted aluminum into the beds. When it cools he digs up theses great sculptures. Sent me this one last Xmas. I love it!
 
Laura Johnson
Posts: 49
Location: Georgia, USA
10
hugelkultur chicken bee
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Opps, here is picture
FB0A27F2-013A-45C9-B98C-46A3C3B64AAA.jpeg
[Thumbnail for FB0A27F2-013A-45C9-B98C-46A3C3B64AAA.jpeg]
 
Posts: 618
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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we got 15in. of snow yesterday and its -5f with the windchill today with actual -5f temps tonight. the last 10yrs here in n. maine its been snowier and colder than average with no mid winter thaws like we used to get. yet the lower half of maine has had average cold and precip. all the weather people are saying new england and the great lakes are in for another brutal winter. i say i agree with them. i feel bad for the animals that have to endure -35 - -40f.
 
Posts: 69
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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i'm about an hour and a half east of Toronto. We've already had two major snowstorms here and temps well below zero centigrade. I was going to attach a pic, but can't see how to do that.
 
                              
Posts: 10
Location: Northern panhandle of West Virginia
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its not even the harvest feast yet and I cant't even build my chimney to cold for the mortar. northern pan handle and its froze outside less than an inch of snow usually don't last but its been 2 days on the ground.
 
pollinator
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Winter comes in pairs, and this year is no different than last year.

Last year on Thanksgiving Day in Maine it was below zero (f), and it is November 13th and we are getting the same thing. As I said, winters come in pairs.
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I am currently lying on my portable mattress in an unheated house that I'm working on. There is frost outside. I've had to take off some blankets because I got too hot in my super thick track pants.

It was about two years ago and I was in a similar situation, when I started seriously thinking about moving to the tropics. I talked to my wife in the Philippines a few minutes ago and the temperature is about 82 degrees. They're having a very mild winter.

My grandmother used to shut down her house in Ontario, and stay with relatives in Florida, during the winter, sometimes. She always carpooled with a bunch of other relatives, so her total fuel consumption was very little. And then her fuel consumption was just about nothing during the mild Florida winter.

It would be interesting to learn what my share of the jet fuel is, when I escape winter in this way and then return in the spring. I wonder how that would compare to heating a home throughout the winter.



I fuel planes for a living, which doesn't make me exclusively qualified to calculate how much fuel would be used to fly from BC to Florida but I did some quick numbers in comparison with some flights we fuel from the midwest to Portland and came up with, depending upon the passenger capacity of the particular plane you are traveling on you would be responsible for between 58-113 gallons of jet fuel. I figured the numbers for a Boeing 737 which carries between 108 and 210 passengers depending on the configuration which accounts for the large range in fuel responsibility. And I figured the flight to be from Vancouver to Orlando. So, all things considered, it seems to be pretty good when compared to other means of transportation. I know you'd definitely burn a lot more fuel driving.
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6299
Location: SW Missouri
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Got a picture of the bit of visible tarp left. The smallest tarps I buy are 9 x 11 feet, most are bigger, no clue what size this is. I have a warm woodchuck! It's all packed hard down there under that pallet.

Stolen tarp! Warm woodchuck!
 
master gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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I hope he doesn't either suffocate himself, or wreck his digestive system!
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6299
Location: SW Missouri
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I was there yesterday, and there is no tarp showing anymore. I looked under, yup, it's all there. Neatly packed in...
Stay warm woodchuck!!
 
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