It hasn’t failed me yet. I put out the first new transplants of the year, and the next day . . . .snow! The forecast was for rain showers today, and a high of 8 degrees C. But instead, we got snow, and a high of 1º C. You wouldn’t guess that just 5 days ago it was 28º C!
Fortunately we shelter all our early transplants with hoop houses; the fabric cover gives the vegetables approximately 2 degrees of protection. And we plant hardy veggies in April: the 60 foot hoop house above is almost all lettuce. The Romaines, Buttercrunch and Winter Density lettuces can all handle a bit of frost, especially since they are young. And despite the snow today, last night’s low was only 0º C.
But what about tonight? The forecast is for a low of 0º C again. Three degrees of variance could put us down to -4. But the hoop house will give us 2 degrees of protection, and the lettuce can handle another two degrees, so we are probably OK. And the forecast is for increasingly warmer temperatures over the next several days, which means we are probably through the worst of the current system. But the weather can change on a dime in Central Alberta . . . . I confess I have extra covers ready, just in case.
And yes, those are colour photos! The black and white feel is real on the prairies this time of year: on a stormy day, things are shades of grey. Underneath the snow you can find colour: dandelions, a bit of green grass and even a few violas. Spring is coming, and soon, but not today.