Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ειναι ολα τα ελληνικα σε εμενα
(It's all Greek to me!!)

"Phenology, which is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning to show or to appear, is the science of periodic biological events in the animal and plant world as influenced by the environment, especially weather and climate. Sprouting and flowering of plants in the spring, color changes of plants in the fall, bird migration, insect hatches, and animal hibernation are all examples of phenological events."

Pretty fancy talk, especially for my blog!! The truth is, I followed plant phenological keys for years, without ever knowing it.
I love my lawn. It's important that I have the best lawn on the block. Especially in front. I selected a specific grass seed mix and drove halfway across the state to find someone who would mix it for me. When I see the ChemLawn truck out in March, I want to scream!!
The grass is not actively growing right now, neighbor! You are wasting your money and your chemicals are blowing into my yard....
I don't use ChemLawn to time my lawn chemicals. I use the forsythia. It's the phenological plant key to tell you that the soil is between 50-55°. The perfect temperature for crabgrass germination....
Some of the phenological keys sound like cliche' sayings:
When the daffodils begin to bloom it is time to plant peas.
When the blossoms of the apple tree begin to fall, plant your corn seeds.
Silver maples show the lining of their leaves before a storm.

I know a farmer who has a big expensive tractor with a GPS system, a satelite computer system for monitoring grain prices, and his nitrogen is purchased years ahead of time. Planting time, he tells me, when the oak leaf is as big as a squirrel's ear.Squirrel
Now, whether or not he holds true to that, I don't know. He farms over 100 acres and his family has owned that farm for 150 years. I am not about to argue with him.
I do know the forsythia timing holds true for me.

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