Be Careful.

Friday, March 15, 1996

It's Not Spring Yet.
Although right now it's 67 degrees F outside, it isn't spring. Yet. Even on March 22, when spring officially arrives, it won't be spring. Why? Because the last true frost date is actually April 17th for us inhabitants of USDA Zone 6b. What does this really mean? Well, if you buy annuals and new perennials and fresh shrubs that haven't yet had at least one winter under their belts, plant them outside and we're hit with a late frost, you'll loose them. For sure.
On my way to several landscape appointments today, I saw many people in t-shirts, wearing shorts and sandals, convertible tops down, but no bikinis yet. Aren't people great? Yesterday was even warmer. Tomorrow and Sunday will see another winter storm roll through with snow and ice and cold. Brrrrrrrrrr.
Actually, the ground is still frozen to a depth of almost 3ft. And it's impossible to plant anything yet. Just the top is thawed out, but only temporarily until the next cold wave blows through.

Garden On Your Windowsill For Now.
Instead of going to your local nursery and spending a bundle on plants that will surely be whacked by frost, select them now, put a small deposit on them and let the nursery hold them until after your last frost date, depending upon the Hardiness Zone you live in. If you don't know your Zone, Go to my Zones Page; there you'll find the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and corresponding zones in color. Figure out where you're at and look at the temperature range near the bottom. If you want to know your last frost date, simply look in the phone book for your County Agricultural Extension Agent, and call them. They should know specifically. But if they don't, email me and I'll find out for you.
Try a windowsill garden instead until the frost date has passed. A few small pots on trays in a south or west facing window can bring some color and fragrance to these semi-dreary days. Rotate the pots every couple of days so the plants don't lean so much (a phenomenon called phototropism).

Politics As Usual.
Looks like Beltway Bob or B-1 Bob (Dole) is on a roll. Steve Forbes dropped out yesterday. Sad to see the events unfurling as they have. I hate to think about holding my nose in protest as I vote for the party. And Pat Buchanan just chugs along, certain to divide and destroy the party. Sad, so sad. Next, the little paranoid twerp Perot will begin to emerge and further splinter everything. What these guys are really doing is helping to re-elect "Slick Willy" Clinton, providing the Justice Department doesn't put him and his wife in jail. Can you imagine that lying crook in The White House for another four years? Wake up and smell the coffee!

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