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P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
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Marv's Blog
Topsy Turvy Spring
Written by Marv Baker   
Sunday, 23 March 2014

23 March 2014


When it comes to weather, there's never a shortage of excitement here. We've had a strange March and we really hope that April doesn't turn out the same way.

March came in at a cool, a real cool, 27 below zero. We tried to describe it coming in like a lion, but that didn't work because there was no roar, no blowing snow, nothing more than bitter cold. So, we came to the conclusion it came in like a polar bear.

Since that first day, we've seen the temperature fluctuate by 90 degrees. That means issues in the greenhouse. It remained cold early in March so there was one night in which the wind chill was brutal. Ilene and I were in Minot and when we got home, I discovered that ice had formed inside the germination chamber. A thermometer in there showed 10 degrees above zero.

Fortunately, I didn't lose any plants... That day.

By the 18th, we had gone up to 60 above and as much as I try to watch the weather on TV and link up to the National Weather Service Web site, it isn't always right. Case in point: A day that was supposed to be cold and cloudy, became much warmer than expected with sunny breaks. I left the plants covered in the greenhouse with the heaters on.

When I walked in that night, I instantly smelled onions. I pulled the lid off the cold frames and the temperature at dusk was 110 degrees and almost all the onions looked like they were baked. Some were. It was devastating.

Today, March 23, I saved most of those onions by thinning them, discarding those that really did fry in the heat and clipped the damaged ones so the energy will go into new growth.

I just hope April is more stable. Losing young plants can be expensive and this is getting old... Until next week. 

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