The April 3 snow wasn't a huge surprise. There are supposed to be three snows on the robin's tail anyway. The bigger issue was the temperatures. What follows below is the April 2018 weather for Waterloo, Iowa. In Tripoli, we were cooler than these numbers and had a bit more snow as well. For example, you may note the "rainfall" amount on April 18. Then, view one of the later pictures.
In combination with the much lower than normal temperatures in early April, we didn't have much for sunshine. The daily summaries shown above don't make it look like it, but we did not have many really sunny days to heat up our high tunnels. The net result? Nothing really grew. The plants lived. But, that's about it.
|Sun puddles are one cure for Winter.|
Tammy had a great deal to do during the end of the semester at Wartburg and there was a good deal to do on the farm that didn't have to do with working outdoors. So, we both stayed busy to avoid letting the weather get us upset.
Sure, the weather was starting to impact our growing season. Things in the high tunnels were falling further and further behind. We had trays of plants stacked up in locations that they shouldn't be because we had to keep them warm enough. Other trays were not getting seeded because there wasn't a place to put them. Blah blah blah. Stuff stuff stuff.
But, we're used to slower starts on the farm than we usually want simply because of our location and the types of soils we have. We rarely come out of the gate on this farm quickly. But, we're usually quick enough. This year, we're just like everyone else in our region - quite a ways behind where we normally are.
|Then this happened April 18|
All of that wet stuff that landed on the high tunnels ends up sliding down the arched roof. Now we had 3 to 3 1/2 feed of heavy snow leaning against the roll up sides of these buildings AND out came the sun and the warmer weather! If you don't want your crops to bolt inside the building, you've got to get them open! The shovel was running too much risk of tearing the plastic sides and the bucket on the tractor was certainly not an option.
Anyone for digging out with your hands? No? Oh, that's why I did it myself.
I think we're ready for Spring now.