When normal isn’t normal

You may have read in the news earlier in May that NOAA has updated their “normals” for temperature and precipitation at stations around the country. In climatology, normals are the calculated averages over a specified time period. Usually, we use a 30-year period to capture what the average weather is like in a time period … Continue reading When normal isn’t normal

Wishes for a beautiful, safe, and productive 2022 for you and your gardens!

This week is the end of 2021 and the start of the new year. What a year 2021 has been! Without even talking about politics, COVID-19, sports, or the economy, it was certainly one to remember from the standpoint of weather and climate. No matter where you live, you probably saw some extreme weather during … Continue reading Wishes for a beautiful, safe, and productive 2022 for you and your gardens!

“How dry I am “: Four types of drought and how they can affect gardeners and gardens

Linda’s post last week about “drought-resistant” plants made me think about drought and how different types of drought affect gardeners in different ways. In her article, she defined drought as “an unusual lack of rainfall”. This is one of four different kinds of drought that climatologists talk about, and I thought it might be interesting … Continue reading “How dry I am “: Four types of drought and how they can affect gardeners and gardens

La Niña expected to affect climate around the world by end of year

Do you wish you had a crystal ball that could tell you what the climate will be next year when you plan your garden? So do many other gardeners (and climatologists). But while there is no magic answer, we do know that in many parts of the United States and other countries, year-to-year climate variability … Continue reading La Niña expected to affect climate around the world by end of year

Counting the Days to Maturity: Calculating planting dates for fall vegetables

While most of the US is still seeing sweltering hot temps, the cool temps of fall and winter aren’t really all that far away for those of us unlucky (or lucky) enough to not live in a tropical climate.  The tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and other warm-season crops planted back at the beginning of summer are … Continue reading Counting the Days to Maturity: Calculating planting dates for fall vegetables

Diagnosing Abiotic Disorders II

In this blog I continue to examine maladies caused by environmental conditions in the absence of a disease agent or insect. SalinitySalt in soils or water is simply the presence of too many soluble ions in the soil-water solution. This tends to happen in dry climates where evaporation rates exceed precipitation rates. In these climates … Continue reading Diagnosing Abiotic Disorders II

Diagnosing Abiotic Disorders I

Insects and pathogens cause damage and disease in garden plants, but damage can also occur in absence of pests. We refer to these diseases as abiotic disorders. Plant pathologists consider abiotic disorders diseases because plants develop symptoms that reflect the changes in their physiology over time. Unlike outbreaks caused by insects or pathogens, abiotic disorders … Continue reading Diagnosing Abiotic Disorders I

Catch my Drift? Herbicide Drift, Curling Tomato Leaves, and Food Safety

There’s all kinds of maladies that can strike your garden plants throughout the season- diseases, insects, negligence, and more.  But one common issue we are seeing more and more here in the corn belt and other places with lots of crop production is herbicide drift.  Of course, you don’t have to have a corn or … Continue reading Catch my Drift? Herbicide Drift, Curling Tomato Leaves, and Food Safety

“Have you ever seen the rain?”

If you’ve been around as long as I have, you will no doubt remember the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”. This week I want to talk about sensing the rain using radar and how you can use it to provide you with local rainfall information if you don’t have a … Continue reading “Have you ever seen the rain?”

Where to find spring frost dates and the mystery of Southeastern frost trends

Most gardeners this time of year are thinking about the last frost dates for their locations and how soon they can get out into their garden plots. Here in the Southeast, many areas have already passed their last frost or will soon, while in other parts of the country, it may be many weeks before … Continue reading Where to find spring frost dates and the mystery of Southeastern frost trends