As we reach the closing days of April, this year's planting and growing season has been another test of patience. With oncoming colder weather this week, patience will be tested again.

Bob Coward of the Cowardly Gardeners and co-host of the Garden Show on WBCK said during the April 17th show that that the cooler temperatures that are on the way are just "Mother Nature's way of slowing things down" after a quick jump of temperatures in March. With several bushes and trees blooming sooner than expected, these cooler temperatures could benefit in slowing the bloom process down to help prevent damage down the road.

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How cold is too cold? For the second straight year, fruit farmers are going to brave for the worst with bitter temperatures early this week. On April 17, 2020, our high temperature for Battle Creek was 37 degrees. The low temperature that day was 30 degrees. Night time temperatures will truly be the test this week and a dip to the 20s is imminent.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 8-to-14 temperature and precipitation forecast does not bode well for Michigan and the Midwest, for that matter. The final week of April does not bode well for temperatures being close to normal (normal daytime temps are 60-degrees for April). We are expecting a little more precipitation to round out April, but don't expect it to get Michigan out of the current abnormal-to-moderate drought.

The 8-to-14 day outlook for temperatures and precipitation from April 26 to May 2, 2021. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

The latest look of the drought monitor below still has the Wolverine State in abnormal drought. The larger brown swath that migrates from the Muskegon-Grand Haven area south to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek shows moderate drought. The main reason comes from being below normal in precipitation (based on the last 25 years) in January and February. Our area was just over average through the month of March. In April, we have accumulated just an inch of precipitation and in Battle Creek, we average 2.73 inches. We are really dry and there is a lot of making up to do.

A look at the US Drought Monitor of the Midwest as of April 15, 2021. (Authored by Deborah Bathke of the National Drought Mitigation Center)

With more of what we need to look into heading into this week, here's the Garden Show Update with Bob Coward below.

Be sure to tune in to the Garden Show every Saturday during the spring and summer months on 95.3 WBCK. Call 269-441-9595 with your gardening question, email co-host Nathan Adams or join us through the App Chat function on the WBCK app.

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