When winter does set in, and it will, we will need to remember September when the weather was nothing short of perfection.
Stellar, excellent, wonderful, perfect, ideal, amazing, super, delightful or marvelous. No matter what superlative I use, you get the idea. It's not easy to blog about the weather when there isn't much more to say. Day after day of sunshine is kind of boring from a meteorologists perspective.
We know eventually the weather will turn cold and stormy, but right now the only problem I am having is deciding what to do each day in all the sunshine.
I make updates to the forecast and give gardening tips on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
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 rain a few days ago, 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.
Wondering where there is weather to get a meteorologist excited right now? If I wanted a forecasting challenge I could head out to Montana. There snow and rain will make for very difficult conditions the next couple of days. This time of year the level at which the snow falls is critical to the forecast.
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. You can see on the graphic below, from the National Weather Service in Montana, that snow is expected above 5000 feet. That would be too high for snow here in New England in all but the very highest few peaks.
Above that level in Montana up to 2 feet of snow is forecast to fall and this will make for treacherous driving and some roads will no doubt close. These elevations are mostly above tree line, so the impact to trees with leaves still on them will be negligible.
As we close out the last few days of the ninth month this weekend and early next week, mother nature is providing Mainers 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.
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.