Flowers are Blooming Earlier than Usual – What Does this Mean?

A splash of colour in the gloom by Steve-h

It is obvious on our planet that the weather has changed. The earth is warming. Many parts of the US are seeing flowers in bloom approximately a month earlier than usual.

In my area, the hellebores have been in bloom for months. Snow drops and crocuses are flowering and now the daffodils are open or opening. Pansies are having their winter show. What this will mean for gardeners and farmers will have to be seen.

Gardeners seem to be advised to start planting some early crops already. Peas which were historically planted on St. Patrick’s Day in my temp zone, can be planted now. The Farmers’ Almanac has this year’s calendar for planting.  Besides earlier planting, what the temperature changes will bring will also have to be seen. We may be getting more pests, we may have less water to use on our plants or we may be able to grow bumper crops in areas certain crops were never grown before.

To show the new Plant Hardiness Zones, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map has been changed in January of 2012 to reflect the weather changes. When you go on their site, you just have to type in your zip code to learn the plant hardiness zone where you live, or you can ask to look at the plant hardiness zone map of your state. “Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature during a 30-year period in the past, not the lowest temperature that has ever occurred in the past or might occur in the future.” So for those in other parts of the world who don’t have a comparable plant hardiness zone map, you can check to see what your average annual extreme minimum temp. has been to try to equate it with the US map. When you buy plants or seeds, check to see if the plants you buy can now grow in your area.

To try to learn what is happening with the climate change, there is a website that keeps up to date news of what is happening.

There are climate change groups that perhaps you can join to participate in or learn what is happening.

In England, check out this site.

No other region of the United States, save perhaps Alaska, is faced with as serious a climate challenge as California and the other Southwest states and to that end, an environment center will be formed. Whether individuals or groups can also participate, contact here to ask.

nd for a list of the100 top climate change sites go to here.  You can sign up to be a volunteer on this site. By signing you become a free member of the World Environmental Organization.

The readers of TheGardenLady.org would like to know what changes you have noticed. Please give your Plant Hardiness Zone when you describe any changes.

 

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