Spring's first thunder may foretell first frost

  • Article by: KAREN YOUSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2010 - 3:37 PM

Snow mold

It feels like spring, especially now with the clock sprung forward. The bare garden plot and lawn beckon. On March 11, the Twin Cities had its first thunderstorm of the season. That, too, signals spring. But it also points to fall.

Folk wisdom has it that six months from the first thunderstorm of spring comes the first frost of the fall. State climatological data from years past generally support this notion. That would give us frost in the middle of September.

That piece of news can take the spring right out of spring. But it doesn't have to. Maybe you can't start planting the garden, but you can start planning it.

Consider raking the snow mold off the yard. That's the white film left after the snow has gone. But be careful. Rake gently so you don't damage the turf. And if the ground is so soft that your feet leave imprints, stay off until it's firm again.

An oxy-warning

Oxy-cleaning products remove stains well, but a reader contacted Fixit with a warning not to use them on carpeting:

"I used it to clean up cat vomit on my carpet, and it worked great. However, I eventually had the carpet cleaned professionally. Every place that had been sprayed with oxy turned a lighter color. My carpet had polka dots! It essentially ruined thousands of dollars' worth of carpeting. My cleaning person warned against ever using it on carpet."

Send your questions to Fixit in care of the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av., Minneapolis, MN 55488, or call 612-673-7032, or e-mail fixit@startribune.com. Past columns are available at www.startribune.com/fixit. Sorry, Fixit cannot supply individual replies. Fixit appears everyday except Friday.

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