Field of Science

This is February?

OK TPP checked his calendar app and it is the oneth of February. In the upper Midwest this is the heart, the dead center of winter. It's 45 F outside and it was 51 F yesterday, which was good because TPP had to restack a firewood rack that had fallen over. A bit of a thaw is not that unusual, but this warm in the middle of winter has not been common place. This won't hurt plants unless they break their dormancy and begin growing when it is a virtual certainty that more cold weather will come before it is really spring. Having a good mulch layer around trees and shrubs keeps the soil cold and frozen even when the air warms up for a few days. This helps plants stay dormant. So far a few very early spring bulbs are being stupid, but they'll survive no matter what, but in particular gardeners worry about fruit trees being fooled and flowering too early. It looks like the X-country skis will stay in the garage attic for the whole winter at this rate, and Mrs. Phactor says its because she got super toasty warm mittens for winter walking.  So far this area has had exactly one snow event that required shoveling, and the nasty ice storm. This is pretty minimal, the rest of the winter precip has come down liquid.  If things keep going this way, it's going to be one super mild winter.

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