I like warm weather, don't get me wrong. I like the warm spring sunshine that bathes everything in light and encourages the flowers to grow. I like the summer days - when it isn't above 90 degrees and 65% humidity - I'm not picky. I love the warm fall days where the sun trickles through the falling leaves. I even like the warm winter days, but we need a change in the air to bring us some cooler temperatures. The warm weather isn't giving the plants the necessary hours before spring to chill out.
It's also not going to kill off enough of the insect population - which means we'll probably end up with a bad mosquito, tick, and chigger season next spring. Not to mention squash bugs, squash vine borers and other vegetable garden pests. I've seen cherry trees flowering - months early. If the sap begins to flow in sensitive trees too early and we get cold temperatures we'll end with damage from the freezing sap. That's what caused death to many trees in 2007. We need some cold air to move in and bring us winter. We need to chill out. Winter is coming, I know. It's only a few days away on the calendar but the weather systems don't read the calendar.
For now though we'll just have to wait and see.
We can enjoy what the warm weather does bring us and try to think positively. Warm weather brings a longer growing season. It keeps the vegetable garden growing without need for covering. It let's my winter jasmine (Jasmine nudiflorum) bloom earlier than it has ever bloomed in our garden before. It's bloomed in March, February and even January but never in December. I've seen daffodil foliage begin to emerge, but that's not unusual. Daffodils typically start growing now then bloom in February and March around here.
Cilantro in the lawn
February and March are also when our gardens in Tennessee have the highest chance of being covered in snow. I won't give up hope that we won't have an appropriate winter, not yet. There's plenty of time for the temperature to drop and provide a corresponding drop in the insect population.
And one more thing we need winter for...the sleds I bought last year for a winter without snow need to be broken in!
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Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.