FAQ

When is my last spring frost?

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather

Usually, when you want to know your last spring frost, the experts send you to a hardiness zone map, a chart, or even the NOAA records, conceding that this will only give you a ballpark figure. If you really want to know your local last frost date, consult a neighbor--at least until you've kept records [...]

Why rain gauges break and plants heave

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather

It was a balmy 57F out today, a pleasant change from last week's snow, so I took a stroll around the garden to see what I could see. I saw the new growth of sedums at soil level, and I saw colchicums emerging from the earth, way too early as usual.I also saw the damage [...]

Snow is good for dormant plants

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather

"Finally, a decent snowfall." That's my first reaction as an ornamental gardener, thinking about the dormant plants. Snow is a great insulator and keeps the soil--and the roots of plants--warmer than if that same soil were exposed to the air. This is one reason why Ellen Hornig of Seneca Hill Perennials can grow many plants [...]

What is a cold climate?

– Posted in: FAQ

This photo was taken two days before the digital thermometer bottomed out in January 2005Quite a while ago, someone emailed me, asking what was a cold climate. I never did answer them, because I thought it was obvious. A cold climate is any climate too cold to grow the plants you really want to grow. [...]