Journal: mid-January, 2020
Snow removal and winter ranunculus
Dreaming of warmer days, he’s not impressed.
With the arrival of January, came snow. And more snow. It’s now the 17th and guess what- it’s still snowing!! As a flower farmer in Kootenays, really we’re not surprised. But it is starting to feel a bit like we’re living in a snow globe that is constantly being shaken. With all the snow comes a lot of work, and a little worry too. We have a 24′ x 40′ greenhouse and a 24′ x 76′ hoop house and we’ve got to keep the snow cleared. We’ve seen enough other growers have their structures collapse in bad weather and we don’t want to join that club. Every year we talk about adding more high tunnels, but every winter we remind ourselves that more tunnels means more work!
Early in the new year we found some time to do a little weeding in our high tunnel. It seems funny to talk about weeding in January, but it’s surprising how those tough little plants will find their way even during the coldest and darkest months.
Weeding the ranunculus in January
This tunnel is full of ranunculus that we sprouted in the fall to overwinter and bloom in early spring. As you can see in the photo, we also added tall hoops made of conduit to create another layer of protection. We cover the hoops with a layer of frost blanket when the weather dips below freezing, which is pretty much all the time right now. When the days are nice and the sun comes out we make the effort to go out and uncover the plants to allow for some photosynthesis and air flow. If it’s above zero we’ll even open the ends of our high tunnel to hopefully get some air circulation. The blooms are still months away, but it feels good to be “outside” and working in the soil.
Between snowfalls and weeding the tunnel, we’re also getting ready to finish up dividing our dahlia tubers. This is no small project and will likely take us a couple weeks get through, but it’s a good excuse to listen to some audiobooks or catch up on our favorite podcasts.
Next week we’ll be starting our first seeds for the season and we’re excited to fire up the new germination chamber that Carl has been working on. Once the seeds start going in, it really feels like the season is on its way! So here we go!