Temperatures could reach 80 degrees on Mother's Dayon May 9, 2012 @ 12:37 pm (Updated: 3:34 pm - 5/9/12 )
Johnny Burg at the National Weather Service says Bellingham is expected to hit temperatures in the mid-70's. Towards Seattle, residents will feel the warmth in the mid-to- upper 70's. But Tacoma and Olympia will hit close to 80, Burg says.
The rest of the month looks to be a little cooler than normal but dry, so take caution when perusing the nursery for seed packets.
Cliff Mass, amateur gardener and Atmospheric Sciences professor at the University of Washington, wondered, in a recent blog post, if the cold air could be the reason his beans aren't popping up. Admittedly, Mass is not an expert in seed germination, but he suspects it has something to do with soil temperatures.
In a nut shell or in this case, out of a nut shell, ground temperatures can get much hotter than air temperatures and greatly vary throughout the day. But below ground temperatures begin to stabilize the deeper you dig.
Mass points to a chart plotting below ground temps (at 8 inches) rising steadily since January. Just last week, the soil hovered in the 50 to 60 degree range.
The beans Mass already planted probably haven't sprouted yet because the optimal temperature for germination is 80 degrees. Your beets, carrots, lettuce, and radishes are probably safe. Don't even think about planting pumpkins or eggplant until well into the summer.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for Tacoma, Hood Canal, Olympia, and parts of the peninsula until about 8:00am Thursday. Insider tip: Grab some old sheets and cover your garden in hopes of keeping your soil warm.
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