I suppose, as you can see from the forecast for the next few days, that we are finally leaving winter behind here in Kansas. Ninety-one degrees, that's 91°F(!) predicted for tomorrow. It is a wonder to me, sometimes, that I can grow anything at all here in the Flint Hills as I look at the temperature fluctuations that my poor plants undergo. Just for grins, I checked back over the past 43 odd days at the official weathersource.com data to the first of April to see how many days that the maximum temperature hit 70°F or above here. In the past 43 days, there were 10 days at 70° or above, with five of those days very early in April, from April 5-9th. On April 10th, the maximum temperature was 35°, a 38 degree difference in highs in 24 hours. On the 13th and 14th, we were back to the 70's and then on April 18th, the high was 39° again. On April 21st, there was a single day of 70°F, snow on April 23rd, and then on May 7th and 8th it was 76° and 77°, dropping back a little bit into the 60's before our current warm spell.
So, out there somewhere in my garden, I've got a bunch of new little rose plants that have barely seen the 70° mark in weeks, that haven't had to develop much in the way of a root system, and now they've got to survive at least a solid week in the 80's and even 90's. And, although the drought is easing here, there are a bunch of already-stressed mature plants who will be whipsawed further by the temperatures and wind. I guess ProfessorRoush is going to be doing some watering, whether he likes it or not.
I'll remind my readers that on April 23rd, 20 short days ago, at 9:10 a.m., my garden looked like this:
And now the temperature is going to be 91°F tomorrow? I'll put those temperature fluctuations up against any other spot in the country, maybe in the world. It is no wonder that the commercial horticultural test plots in Kansas City are so popular; as one K-State horticulturist is fond of saying, "the big nurseries know if it performs well here, it will perform well anywhere in the United States." Listen up, all you mail-order nurseries, now you know why I want plants sent sooner than your Zone-conditioned schedules, in order to get new babies acclimated before the hot weather hits. So don't give me any grief the next time I want band roses a month ahead of when you want to send them. You know who you are.