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Dry, sunny and mild weather through the weekend

Posted by David Epstein  September 26, 2013 02:33 PM

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When the weather is this nice for so many days in a row, I tend to start looking around the country for where the weather might be more fun to forecast. I fully realize our stellar, spectacular, outstanding, no matter how you say it, wonderful weather is just fine for most of you. And don't get me wrong, I am taking full advantage of the sunshine to "make hay".
I'll be updating the details of the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

The past 24 hours has provided folks in Montana with a preview of the upcoming winter. Snow levels have fallen to 5000 feet which is low enough that people live there. I was looking at a graphic from the National Weather Service site in Montana and found it interesting they are worried about possible "stress on young livestock." Here in the east during a snowstorm we talk about possible tree damage and power outages, out there it's the cattle they worry about.
montana snow.jpg

Here in winter, we often have rain along the coast and snow in the mountains with colder air up high and warmer marine air at the low levels. In early fall, in the Rockies, the cold air is up high while it's still mild in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. The fact it is able to snow out there already is a function of how high those areas site. Here in the east, the same situation might give the tops of the highest peaks of the White Mountains some snow, but otherwise we would all experience rain.

Since those areas are so high, they don't have large trees to worry about, thus the lack of tree damage in the first place. Later this fall, as the snow levels lower, the valleys will get their first snow.
I know the weather is going to turn colder next month and my big task this week in all the sunshine is to get my house plants treated for insects and back in the house before it gets too cold for them. Some of the hardier plants will stay outside through October.

I did end up planting some spinach, beets and lettuce last week and it's already germinated in the mild weather. The lawn repair I did at the same time is beginning to show signs of growth and as long as I remember to water everything it will do great.

If you have newly planted things in your yard this year the lack of rain is of some concern. With the sunlight much weaker this time of year, the ground won't dry out the same way it would have back in July, nonetheless, if your soil is dry, you need to water.

We had some last weekend, but for newly seeded lawns and divided perennials, you need to keep the soil evenly moist until the weather turns much colder. You might be surprised the root growth of shrubs and trees continues until the soil gets under 40F and begins very early in the spring, well before the leaves have busted out. For this reason, especially in the fall and most notably with newly planted evergreen trees the soil should to be allowed to get too dry. Larger plants that have been in the ground for several years or longer have a root system deep enough so you need not be concerned.

As we close out the last few days of the ninth month this weekend and early next week, mother nature is providing us with a weather treat to savoir. Knowing what lies ahead, the tranquility we are experiencing should be used to its full extent, repairing a broken screen, fixing a hole under the garage or piling up wood. When we are covered in a blanket of white weeks into the future, the perfection of September of 2013 will be a nice memory to have.

Gardening this week

This is a great time of year to garden. You can plant a lawn, move and divide perennials and plants trees and shrubs will less chance of failure than in the spring. I was recently at a local nursery and saw some great conifers for the garden. Check out the unique plants you can add to your own landscape in this week's video.


I'll be updating the details of the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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