Late snow shouldn’t be a problem for Sask. gardeners prepping their yards, expert says

Wednesday’s wintry weather might dampen your enthusiasm to get the garden started, but it’s definitely time to begin prepping for this year’s growing season, according to one expert.A late spring storm is bringing rain and snow to much of Saskatchewan.Jill Van Duyvendyk, owner-manager of Dutch Growers in Saskatoon, said spring in Saskatchewan is all about being able to adapt.”Learning how to ‘pivot,’ I think that’s the word of 2024,” Van Duyvendyk said.Dutch Growers owner-manager Jill Van Duyvandyk says one of the big trends this year is having plants that serve a purpose. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC News)She said if this storm brings snow to your area, you can use that to your gardening advantage.”It’s a perfect time to get out into your yards and pinch or prune,” she said.”[And] some people have some big acreages and it’s really hard to get out there and put fertilizer stakes in each tree. So maybe take a little bit of the groundskeeper fertilizer, which is a lawn fertilizer made here in Saskatchewan, and you can sprinkle that on the new snow and then when it melts, it will take that fertilizer down into those trees.”The aisles at Dutch Growers are filling up with a variety of plants and flowers. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC News)Van Duyvendyk said if you can dig into the ground, it is also a great time to move plants to new locations.”Those plants haven’t come out of dormancy yet, like your perennials and some of your trees, so if you’re wanting to move them, this cold weather is actually good for them because it keeps them dormant longer.”Cold weather is expected to stick around for the next few days.”Across the south [there will] probably be some rain showers,” said Terri Lang, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.”Toward the northern grain belt, rain changing to snow overnight. And if you’re in the sort of east, central and northern parts of the province, then you’re expecting some pretty wet, heavy snow.”WATCH | Snow in April? Get tips from this gardening pro: Snow in April? Here’s what Sask. gardeners need to knowA late spring storm is bringing rain and snow to much of Saskatchewan. The owner-manager of Dutch Growers in Saskatoon gives tips on what gardeners can and should be doing right now.
 Lang said the precipitation is needed, especially in drought-stricken areas.”I think any moisture at this time is welcome. However, due to the length of time that we’ve been this dry and are moisture deficient, it’ll help but it’s not going to alleviate the drought.”Van Duyvendyk said it’s too early to be leaving bedding plants outside overnight, but advised bringing them out during the day when it’s warm.”We’re seeing those minus temperatures and maybe some snow overnight, but then we’re having a warmer day. Get those plants outside and that will keep them short and free of stretching,” she said.”A lot of our seedlings indoors, you’ll start to see the nodes, which is the space between the leaves stretching, and by keeping them cool during the day, that’s how you can eliminate that stretching as well.”Rain began falling in Saskatoon on Tuesday and later changed to snow. (Scott Larson/CBC News)Van Duyvendyk said the current trend in the gardening world is plants that are not only pleasing to look at, but also have a purpose like pollinating or providing food.”Even adding a tree to provide shade so you’re not having to water as often, or planting perennials to help with erosion in your yard,” she said.Van Duyvendyk said that, despite the current weather, she expects this weekend to be busy at Dutch Growers, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary.

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