Every year we ask our long-time friend (and Farmer’s Almanac expert) Robert Reeves when it’s time to mow the onions. There’s no science to back up this idea, but there are some who say it works every time!
Robert says to mow the wild onions on the following dates:
March 24th and March 25th
Spring springs on Thursday
The Vernal Equinox occurs on Thursday at 10:50 PM CDT; that’s when the astronomical Spring season begins.
“Equinox” actually comes from two Latin words meaning “equal nights.” That’s at the Equator, though.
Huntsville has already had the “equinox” in that respect: Monday! We had exactly twelve hours from sunrise to sunset on March 16th; we will have already gained about seven minutes of daylight (12 hours, seven minutes) on the equinox itself. Day length increases about two minutes and eleven seconds each day through the end of the month. The sun rises at 6:33 AM and sets at 7:07 PM on March 31st!
Want to know when “equal nights” happens for your location? Check out this link to TimeandDate.com and replace “Huntsville” for your town!
What about the long-term frost/freeze potential?
A widespread freeze seems unlikely in Alabama through mid-April; Middle Tennessee is a little ‘iffy’ through April 10th.
The average last freeze of the season is usually around late March to early April. Occasionally, we’ve had frost as late as early May, but this doesn’t look like that kind of year.
We would rarely say it’s ‘safe’ to plant a full garden or tender annuals prior to the dates listed above; however, given the social distancing and desire to just have something to do, it does look safe enough to plant some things as long as you’re able to cover them/protect them should a late-season frost come upon us.
Much of our longer-range guidance suggests about a 25% chance of temperatures dropping to the low-30s in the first week of April in Huntsville.
That guidance shows about a 20-30% chance of temperatures hitting the 20s as far south as Fayetteville, Winchester and Stevenson in the first week of April.
If you do decide to being Spring planting, understand that you’ll be taking a risk unless you’re confident in your ability to protect your investment.
It’s tempting, but wait just a little longer if you can to plant!