We had our first real snow of the winter in Dallas on Sunday, January 9, 2011. In our neighborhood, we received somewhere between a half an inch to an inch of snow. It was wet snow perfect for snowball fights and for making a snowman.
That snow was followed by almost five straight days of freezing weather! That is pretty unusual for us. While the mercury popped above freezing for a little bit during that period of time, it was below freezing for the majority of it, bottoming out at 20 degrees.
That probably doesn't seem like much for Northerners, but that is cold for us.
After a week of cold weather like that, most of us are ready for Spring. But I actually enjoy these cold spells. Every chilly, cold day means twenty four more quality chill hours toward a great fruit harvest. Think about it. With that cold five day spell, we added another 120 chill hours toward our winter total. For my apples, plums, and pears, that is good news.
Compared to last year, it really feels like Texas has had a much milder winter this year. Last winter, we were indundated with snow and cold. It was the most snow that I could remember since the 1980's, snowing four or five times. This year, in comparison, has been downright balmy. Of course, January and February are our coldest months, so we could still be in for a lot more cold weather and snow. We will see.
After the cold weather lifted, the frost covers came off my vegetable beds, and our winter vegetables are still chugging along. While the onions, carrots, beets, turnips, celery, broccolli, turnips, etc. are slowly growing, the lettuce and herbs are going strong. The frost covers are working great.