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WTF? early spring in Utah  RSS feed

 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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We are in the middle of a mid-winter heat wave here in northern Utah. My bulbs are sprouting and many trees are budding. February will bring cold temps and who knows what kind of damage to these poor early risers.

Anybody else with this problem?
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Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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Yes. I picked a handful of oyster mushrooms in the woods yesterday. White spore prints and everything. I'm freaking out. Not a huge flush, but like, I think Oysters and a food source in like, first week of MAY?

It'd be awesome if it wasn't so worrying
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Early Spring? Bwa! Did we even get a winter yet? We certainly missed the arctic blast that affected the eastern states.

I don't worry about freezing tree buds, or unseasonal temperatures... The plants always seem to work it out one way or the other. To help spread the risk around, I grow apples, and pears, and cherries, and peaches, and grapes, and berries, and walnuts, and hazels, and many other species of perennial and annual crops. If some fail due to weather, others will thrive because of that same weather. I can't predict the weather, but I can throw plenty of species at the fickleness problem.
 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:To help spread the risk around, I grow apples, and pears, and cherries, and peaches, and grapes, and berries, and walnuts, and hazels, and many other species of perennial and annual crops. If some fail due to weather, others will thrive because of that same weather. I can't predict the weather, but I can throw plenty of species at the fickleness problem.



This is my whole strategy in the face of climate change. The weather is going to be getting wilder for the rest of my life, but there's no predicting the specifics. I am trying to learn to grow every kind of food tree that can currently be propagated here, whether or not it is considered possible to get reliable fruit or nuts. My hope is that by my retirement years, I'll have established trees that thrive and produce crops in any given year no matter how wild and unpredictable the weather has gotten. In a year when the expected crops fail, the wildcard "nobody's ever seen a crop from those here" trees will hopefully produce. And these trees are to be my hedge against economic and food system insecurity as well, because I don't expect stability in those systems as I age toward retirement either. I envision the rest of the first half of the 21st century as chaotic on all fronts, but however crazy it gets, I plan on not being hungry.
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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That is smart Dan, and a chance to see your own microclimates in action as they develop on your property. I want to be able to overwinter more sensitive plants outdoors

Bill, I am also seeing my bulbs coming out. December here was unseasonably warm, then there was a wintery week or two, now this week I am seeing highs in the 60s and ample sunshine. Don't know that it is a problem yet as far as fruit goes, but it looks like I will have a big jump on the season at this rate, aNd I have had plenty of moisture too.
 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Zach I still have a lot of work to do in developing microclimates on this property. It is mostly former pasture without a lot of ground shape. A few walls and some earthworks would give me a lot of variation to play with.

However as you know, in much of Oklahoma there are trees (like apricots and almonds) that are said to grow well enough but not to fruit reliably due to our pretty variable spring frost dates. I'm told that some of the hardier hybrid citrus even grows fairly well (perhaps more so down by the Texas line) but has no prayer of fruiting due to our currently-reliable hard winter freezes. I'm currently focused on establishing more trees that I know will grow and fruit (while nurturing persimmons and pecans that already exist here on the property in a state of terrible neglect) but as time, money, and access to genetic material allows, I'm hoping to establish more of the no-hope trees here so that they can produce "miracle" crops the first time Oklahoma's wild and warming weather decides to freakily skip a winter.
 
Bill Bradbury
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Early Spring? Bwa! Did we even get a winter yet? We certainly missed the arctic blast that affected the eastern states.

I don't worry about freezing tree buds, or unseasonal temperatures... The plants always seem to work it out one way or the other. To help spread the risk around, I grow apples, and pears, and cherries, and peaches, and grapes, and berries, and walnuts, and hazels, and many other species of perennial and annual crops. If some fail due to weather, others will thrive because of that same weather. I can't predict the weather, but I can throw plenty of species at the fickleness problem.


Joseph, this is the best insurance, I use the same plan.

So, it's late January and raining all night. Still no winter. The forecast is for more of the same. I'd like to say i don't worry either, but I'd be lying.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2497
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
471
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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I had a neighbor in Cache Valley that used to plant corn in February. Four years in five it froze. But that one year in five that it survived gave him the earliest corn in the valley.

So far, it's looking like it would have been a great year to overwinter fava beans... Too bad I only planted a few seeds. I did however plant an overwintering crop of garden peas. Some of them are doing great! It's one of my breeding projects, "Winter Hardy Garden Peas". It's a project that I've been working on for 4 years. I hand pollinated my earliest shelling pea with an Austrian Winter pea. I finally have enough seed to restart the winter-hardiness testing.

This is one of the parents of the cross... My earliest shelling pea. Starts flowering on the 7th node.


This is the other parent...
I know, it looks delapidated. This photo was taken a few days after the winter snows melted. They overwintered!!! And have for 5 years now.


The great-grandchildren are currently in the ground. Some died already. Some are thriving. I am looking for a super-early, winter-hardy, garden shelling pea.

 
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
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