Saturday, March 31, 2007

Busy busy...

It's been a tremendously busy time of the year for me. I've had time enough to water, but that's about it. Today, though, was absolutely perfect weather, and I spent most of it out of doors, cleaning out my winter garden and sowing seeds for the hot and rainy season that is around the corner. Let's see, quickly...
  • In my Parks dome...
    • 10A-C Globe Basil
    • D-F Genoa Basil
    • 9A-C Pineapple Tomatillo
    • 9D-F and 7, 8: Cleome Dwarf Spiders from Parks
    • 5,6: Zinnia 'Ruffles Yellow'
    • 3,4: 'Desert Sun' Zinnias (these performed very well for me last year)
    • 1,2: 'Dasher' Zinnias (love those Parks $1 sales!)
  • In some little pots...
    • Bunny Tail Grass
    • Green Cat Goose Grass
  • From the awesome DeLand 'plante' sale, I got a Dwarf Cavendish banana and some Blackberries... I'm skeptical that the latter will do well, but the owner assured me... Both of these went into my garden today.
  • In the veg garden, I transplanted/planted:
    • Quailgrass
    • Amaranth (both this and the above from ECHO)
    • Genoa Basil
    • Cucino cukes
    • Lemongrass
Some other garden notes...
  • Blueberries: Some are ripe and ready to be picked tomorrow morning...
  • The blueberry cuttings I got this winter: They're covered in leaves and today I gently pulled one from its pot to find... ROOTS! Hurray!
  • Strawberries: Lots of berries out there, but I realize that a small berry patch (mine is 10x15) will yield no more than a couple handfuls a day. To really supply a family of four, you'd need no fewer than 75 plants. That said, the berries are beautiful and tasty, and I've used no pesticides and only a bit of synthetic fertilizers this year. I cannot tell the difference between Sweet Charlies and Chandlers. The Chandlers I got as bare-root, the Charlies as potted plants. They didn't produce much during the winter, but they've surely earned their place in my garden.
  • Figs: First leaves, fruit's already formed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Useful weather data... Long Range Temperature and Precipitation Forecasts

From the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service. The charts show the probabilty for two scenarios:
  • hotter than normal/and cooler than normal; and
  • more precipitation than normal/less precipitation than normal.
The intensity of cooler indicates the probability of exceeding or falling short of the norm, while the white areas (EC) indicate equal chance of exceeding or falling short of then norm. (It does not indicate, it should be noted, that weather will be "normal," just that no preponderance of evidence indicates a warmer/cooler or wetter/drier -- a subtle but important distinction.)

Thus, dark brown means it is very likely that temperatures will exceed the norm while dark blue would indicate that it was very likely for temperatures to be below normal. Notice that degree or intensity of deviation from the norm is not indicated, only probability.

Here's the prognosis for April, 2007 made mid-March:

So, evidence would indicate that we have a slightly better than average chance of a warmer (but how much warmer?) spring and early summer and a roughly equal chance of a wetter or drier period over the next three months.

For our rainy season -- July, August and September -- it looks likely we're significantly more likely to have a wetter and warmer period than historical averages:

The accuracy of these instruments isn't terribly high, but they I suppose some indication is better than no indication.