There are two things I want to blog about today that are really not as bad as they could be.
First of all, we only got 2" of snow over night rather than the 4-8" predicted. Hardly worth shoveling off more than the deck and entries to outside doors. The temperature now at mid-afternoon is up to 41 degrees and we've had a bit of melting again with on and off sunshine. This time of year, as long as it stays above freezing, the snow will continue to disappear into the ground rather quickly.
The other thing that isn't bad at all . . .
A few of you have expressed concern that with our recent snows and still cold weather, I might not be able to garden this year because of the late start.
I know it seems strange to those of you living in what are more hospitable climates, but the start of my gardening season will probably begin very close to the same time as usual.
Even with the use of cold frames, I don't plant any of my cool weather crops until sometime in May. Even potatoes and peas don't go in until the merry month of May. We've had a couple of years when the snow has been long gone early in April (like the past two years), but our temperatures are still quite cold for any kind of garden work.
My seedlings started inside, especially the more tender ones such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, don't get transplanted into the garden until the first week of June. Even then because the month of June is frequently on the cool side, they often need some protection. (For those of you who have green tomatoes the size of tennis balls on your plants at that time, please be kind and don't send pictures. ;o] )
Forty-some years ago when we first started coming to this area looking for land to buy, we camped in our tent the majority of the time. I can vividly remember one morning waking up and finding the water frozen in our water buckets. The date? August 7th.
Snowflakes have fallen in every single month of the year in our part of Minnesota. My mom had a friend whose husband's job transferred them up here in the 1950s. The wife was not fond of cold weather and the year it snowed on the Fourth of July was the straw that broke the camel's back. He quit his job and they moved back to Illinois.
I've said before that it's not unusual for us to skip the season of spring. We have winter, winter, winter . . . and then one day the temp tops out at 70 degrees and summer has arrived.
I do believe in the past 10-15 years we have been experiencing milder winters and warmer summers, but perhaps this year is the beginning of another cycle returning to weather as it has more traditionally been. Old-timers up here often speak of years when the ground received a covering of snow in October which didn't disappear until the first part of May. Still, there is documentation that early homesteaders were able to raise gardens and feed for their livestock in that short season. With all the helps and tehnology we have available today, we should be able to do as well.
So I'm still planning on gardening as I always do this year. Unless, of course, these crazy snows continue on through the month of May. If that happens, I'll be writing a post refuting all I've just said.
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