As a native Coloradan I’m rarely surprised in spring to see a very warm sunny day only to be followed by a heavy snow. But this year has been the strangest of all years I can remember. I posted in January commenting how spring like it was and how nice it was to have a day so early in the year to work on the garden. But then it was immediately followed with a post about a gardening zone change for Colorado to a warmer zone.
And now it has been said nationally to be the hottest March in recorded history, and for Colorado, the driest . March’s temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees above normal, which is more like April temperatures. The heat and dryness has already had its affects. We’ve had forest fires in the mountains this spring, usually a phenomenon that comes with summer heat. Add this to a very dry winter for the mountains and the weather does not bode well for water availability come summer. To prepare for this I’ve been adding layers of mulch, and have to purchase at least another yard to get my beds prepared. Lets hope this isn’t a repeat of the 2002-2003 drought.
Here in my garden the warm temperatures has all of my plants emerging and budding nearly a full month sooner than normal. My western Catalpa has always been the latest to bud, usually emerging in early May so as to avoid late snowstorms tearing off their large heart shaped leaves. Today April 13th their buds now sport 1″ long leaves. My roses are fully leafed out and many perennials are well into their summer growth.
We are expecting snow this weekend. It will be interesting to see just how everything responds to the change in weather.