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I'm marking today's "Sundown"

 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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My area is teetering between "Frost Free" and "Frost." So I have marked in my mind or you can do it other ways .. where the sun is going down this evening .. it went down by my neighbor's barn .. It will keep moving South to dead winter and then start coming back North again towards summer. I will be able to look at Sundown now and see how far it will be to Frost Free days again. I know dead winter will have the Sunset behind said neighbor's house and the middle of summer will be in another neighbor's silage works. You can do it by Sunup also .. but I don't have any good markers on the East side.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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frost doesn't happen by the sundown but by several weather conditions..here we can have frost as late as July and August in the spring summer, or not after the first of June depending on the weather..and we can have our fall frosts as early as August and some years not until Halloween..this year it was early October for our first hard freezes..we can have less than 30 day frost free growing seasons or as much as 150..so you can't count on sundowns
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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This sounds like a good method for predicting the behavior of plants whose development is sensitive to photoperiod, like onions and some varieties of winter wheat. My climate isn't predictable enough: for example, it wasn't hot enough here for tomatoes to ripen until about the past month, whereas usually they come in in the summer as usual. Partly this depends on the El Niño/La Niña cycle, but there are many other influences.

I'm pretty dependent on the internet for information on day length, weather, and climate at the moment, but if I had to do without, I'd be sure to learn enough basic astronomy to get by.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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a good predictor of frost in some areas is the full moon on a clear night, generally  the clear night means that the radiation will make it very cold near the earth and the full moon is the coldest night of the cycle..but right before and right after a full moon will also bring frost.

we use to always wait until after the last full moon in June to plant tender plants, in Mich, however, this year the full moon was really late so we went ahead and planted early and didn't get a frost.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I am marking a season with my sundown. You don't have to cast metal to have a Sun Dial .. Stone Hedge and the markings in New Mexico do the same thing. They use a central point .. mine is my porch .. and where the sun comes up or goes down. Barns and trees are good for short periods of time. Boulders and rock huts next to a cliff with windows built in are another.

I know frost can come anytime it chooses .. potatoes and sugar beets can get frozen in and no two winters are the same. Corn pack can run till the end of August or the end of October .. a pretty wide spread.

I'm marking the length of the day that goes with the swing of the Sun .. the Seasons .. the number of heat units produced each day .. the angle the sun strikes the earth, penetrating or a glancing blow .. and how much snow is in the foothills 15 miles away .. the cold that can settle into my area each night from this snow pack .. can blow the whole thing. I'll just wait and see if I like it.
 
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