I can see clearly now the snow is gone

By on Feb 23, 2018 in Early Spring |

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My apologies to Johnny Nash for the variation on his song lyrics but it’s exciting to see the snow go away. Everything goes nuts when the soil temperatures climb to 60 degrees plus in spring. When will that happen? Every year is different. Here in southwest Michigan usually sometime in mid April. I have had people write me, call me, ask me in response to GDD comments I have made on the air. That would be “growing degree days” and their fascination with the process. They are living it but not realizing it. Anyone who in spring has not carried a soil thermometer around with them has not truly lived life to the fullest. Probe the soil in anticipation of 60 degree ground temperatures and you my friend are alive. We all live with the air temperature forecasts projected by meteorologists to plan our week’s activities with their 7 day forecasts. But if you want an earthy experience however, learn to live by the ground temperature at the 2 inch level instead of the fleeting air temperature. And learn to live by the accumulated GDD growing degree days to anticipate blooming, insect activity and growth. Now you’re living. An elementary measurement of growing degree days to measure the earth as well as yourself coming to life in spring is to take the low temperature for the day and add it to the high temperature and divide by 2. Any number that exceeds 50, you my friend have accumulated growing degree days as in visible tangible growth. For example on an early May day if we have a low temperature of 39 degrees and a high temperature of 67 degrees then 39 + 67 = 106 divided by 2 = 53 meaning we just accumulated 3 growing degree days, glory hallelujah no wonder you feel so good. Unfortunately 60 degree ground temperatures also wake up the sleeping crabgrass seeds overwintering in your lawn for germination.

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