The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

It's okay to wish for early crocuses

Snowy tomato

I'm always of two minds about the first spring flowers.  On the one hand, I really, really want to see them, not just for myself, but for my hungry bees.  But on the other hand, I know that early blooms on the fruit trees often mean no harvest that year due to late freezes.  So I decided to poke back through the blog to determine when our peaches and crocuses have bloomed in past years, and how that relates to the subsequent peach harvest:

Year
First crocus bloom
Peaches at first pink stage
Peaches harvested?
2013
1/31
4/5
Yes
2012
2/3
3/15
No
2011
2/20
3/22
Yes
2010
3/7
4/3
Yes
2009
2/28
3/23
No


Broccoli seedlingThe first thing I noticed --- late peach blooms do seem to be correlated to an actual peach harvest that year.  But do early crocus blooms mean no peach harvest?  Nope.  In fact, the date of the first crocus blooms seems to have very little bearing on when the peach flowers open, suggesting that the two plants are using different cues to decide on the proper time to pop open their flowers.  (Last year's crocus blooms might have been a bit of an outlier, though, because I had transplanted the bulbs in late winter to a new location.)

This post is all a long and geeky way of saying --- okay, crocuses, open up those buds!  And, peaches, stay sound asleep as long as you can.  Because, of course my plants listen to my wishes, right?  (Maybe I should hedge my bets by dumping the ice from my maple sap concentration campaign around the bases of our fruit trees.)



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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I had been thinking of just this thing. My crocus hasn't bloomed yet and I've been checking for weeks. I remember when it bloomed Feb. 2.
Comment by Brandy Wed Mar 5 11:43:55 2014
Do you also have the (actual) last freeze date for those years? With the erratic weather, early crocus is probably unrelated to whether you get any peaches. More likely, it's whether there was a freeze after some warm weather (which happened in Michigan a couple of years ago).
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Wed Mar 5 18:40:53 2014





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