Originally posted in the VegNet Newsletter
By: Tim McDermott, Extension Educator Franklin County
When I am planning when to start seeds in order to get ready for an upcoming spring or fall planting season. I take the frost date into account, but then I adjust that date according to the weather projections as that gives me insight into how I can maximize production by using weather data plus season extension.
For example, the fall frost date in central Ohio is around mid-October. The fall climate prediction data was for a delayed frost date and a warmer fall. Once I read about this I planted my fall vegetables using this data in anticipation of a longer fall growing season for summer vegetables.
I planted green beans and zucchini in the first week of August 2017. Both are about 50-60 day vegetables so they would mature long after the frost date normally, and both do not like frost.
Germination was about a week or so later
Because of the delayed frost date, I was able to enjoy a harvest late into fall and ate green beans and zucchini fresh for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year the climate prediction center states that we will continue to have a February with temperature swings and periods of heavy precipitation.
For the growing season the prediction is for a gradual warm up from March through May with a wetter than normal spring. Summer is looking like the warm up continues with a drier than normal precipitation forecast.
Make sure you check the prediction models when you are making your plans. It might save you some time and trouble and might get you some extra production.