April Freeze and Gardening 2007

From Friday night to Saturday morning it was supposed to be really cold, just below freezing. I don’t think that actually happened on our property … yes it was cold, but not quite to freezing, from how the grass and blooms and herbs and such look in our yard(s) as of Saturday afternoon …

Now it’s the Saturday night to Sunday morning freeze warning time, and temperatures are supposed to be even lower, in the 20’s tonight/morning as well as tommorow night (Sunday to Monday AM.)

One clue for “how cold is it right now” that I employ to reason about what’s going on outside is the heat pump, which sits outside on the ground with pipes going into the house and up the wall into the attic space … and that’s right behind our master bedroom, right where the bed is situated, of course (the only “real placement” for the bed, unfortunately.) When it’s really cold the heat pump doesn’t do a good job, the closer it gets to freezing, there isn’t enough “warmth” in the air to pull it into the house for warmth inside via the houses air system. It makes a horrid racket when it’s actually freezing or lower and the heat pump is running.

Friday to Saturday it sounded similar to how it sounds right now. It’s the Saturday to Sunday time currently, 5:30am approx. and accuweather “says” right now it’s 28 degrees. Well that’s not exactly right, since our property doesn’t have a weather station nearby, and when I have had a decent temperature gauge for outdoors I was able to compare and know for sure that our temps here are not the same as what ‘they’ say (nor actual weather, like clouds, rain, snow, etc.)

So we are waiting for the daylight hours to see what it’s like outdoors, and I hope things will be alright. We have three dwarf apple trees that don’t always bloom so nice. Guess what? They sure are THIS year, ALL THREE of them at the same time. So it does figure that we have the first late cold snap ever since living here … this late, April.

Not only that, usually the two trees that are alike, Liberty variety, don’t actually “bloom” with their opened blossoms until later in April, and the third tree, MacFree variety, blooms after that (which isn’t really helpful since two varieties are needed to fertilize for apples.) There was definitely something funky going on with the MacFree and I was finally able to prune out major parts of it last year, when they suddenly got such long branches growing, it was obviously the root stock trying to take over. What’s is left untouched now is the real MacFree, as far as it seems, and this Spring 2007 is the first time it’s actually produced masses of buds.

We planted these trees in early Spring of 1998, and then did move them to another area a few years later. In any case, the Liberties have blossomed well in the past, but given us few apples. The MacFree never did blossom very well, though when it did better it was not of use to the Liberty trees. Last couple of years there were a few apples on the MacFree (so there is something else in the area that bees are using to fertilize my trees, obviously.)

Such promise I put in the apple trees this year, and then the Spring was so warm, and the trees started to form buds in March. That is not usual. We didn’t have a freeze in March really, it was regular last freeze around March 15, but nothing major, and temperatures were very warm most of the time, very warm indeed. Last (2005/2006) winter was a warm one, and things were so very mild, but the apple trees still didn’t set blooms until into April in 2006. This past winter (2006/2007) was fairly mild overall, and we didn’t have much “weather” in the way of ice or snow, no major storm at least. We did have rain more often than usual, though not so much overall. In any case, everything has been blooming so nicely this year, and that includes the apple trees, and unfortunately for them it’s not a good thing this year. 🙁

Dogwoods are blooming right now too. The Cherokee Chief variety we have in the front don’t have a lot of blooms, but where they do is at the top and they are lovely (we need to do some work on those trees, pruning.) We have a white dogwood in the backyard and it’s in full glory of bloom. It’s gorgeous. Driving around the area, Dogwoods are bursting forth in massive color and bloom. It’s a grand year for Dogwoods. Or it was. We’ll see later on. 🙁

So many other plants are past bloom already and in the process of leafing out, some leafed out in full already (like our Japanese ‘Bloodgood’ Maple tree, our Weeping Willow tree, and our wild Blackberries are in full leaf and actually setting blooms and some are opening already.)

As I write this the heat pump is starting to struggle for the first time this night-time. It’s not super bad, but does sound bad enough, so it’s near 32 or below a tad … but doesn’t “sound” like it’s in the 20’s, while currently accuweather says right now it’s 28, oh I just loaded the page again and now they say “30” but that’s where anyhow? Miles away.

Hubby did put a blanket on my herb garden (which doesn’t have much in it, but does have a super-duper verdent perennial Chives that is just about ready for harvesting — already!) — it’s the whiskey barrel garden. I have lots of new herbs to plant in it, we got them last weekend, but I didn’t plant them due to the weather outlook. So they are in the garage awaiting their time to transplant.

I have lots of seeds to start and since it did snap so cold I’m fine with the fact that I haven’t even started my seeds yet –it is something I do need to do in the next couple of days, though.

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