When is Spring?

Today is the first day of March. To some, today is the first day of spring! There isn’t a one-and-only true way to mark the beginning of spring. It depends on who you ask.

For meteorologists, the first day of spring is on March 1st. This is because it is based on climate patterns. The months are divided into 3 month phases based on weather patterns of the coldest, warmest, and transition periods.

For astronomers, the first day of spring is sometime between March 19th and 21st. Each year it varies at what exact time. This is because it’s the vernal equinox- when the earth is at a point in its orbit that the sun is directly over the equator and will begin its journey higher into the northern hemisphere.

For horticulturists, these dates are only guidelines. ‘Spring weather’ doesn’t necessarily begin on a certain day of the month. Spring can be considered to begin whenever plants begin to wake up for the season. Plants are harbingers since they are very sensitive to weather. There are outliers like those plants that bloom in winter like hellebores or snowdrops. It can also be considered spring when the ground is workable again after being cold and frozen.

Spring is a long transition period between the colder and warmer months. Just because spring is here, it doesn’t mean we’re able to go out and plant whatever we’d like just yet! For gardeners, there are a lot of uncertainties in the spring months because it is a transitional period after all. Climate change is only going to push the boundaries of these transitional periods.

In my area zone 6b, the fast few days have shown some small signals of spring ahead. I have noticed the buds on trees are quite visible now. In a very sunny area of my garden, the wild columbines are beginning to come up. Daffodils and hyacinth bulbs have broken the top of the soil now too. There is still plenty of potential for cold and snowy weather ahead. What are the sings of spring where you live?