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Cold nights affecting the farming season

Shelley Steeves, reporter
April 15, 2012 — Spring has definitely sprung in Carson Edwards's greenhouse. His organic vegetables are already growing strong. He only hopes they stay that way through spring. The Weather Network's Shelley Steeves explains.

Growing plants at Carson Edwards's greenhouse
Growing plants at Carson Edwards's greenhouse

"Even though everyone is saying it's going to be warmer we are still getting cold nights so I am a little but worried about the cold slowing the growth of the plants,'' says Carson Edwards, a certified organic farmer.

Which is exactly what happened over the winter. Carson typically grows crops in this greenhouse year round.  He then sells them on the local organic market --but this past Winter, things didn't go as planned.

"We didn't have any snow and the snow provides and insulating blanket. So even though it was a warmer winter for the greenhouse it was colder and when we had the cold nights it was dropping just below zero," says Edwards.

And without  proper snow cover to provide insulation. Carson struggled to keep his plants alive during the winter. Especially during our drastic temperature fluctuations. And in fact, during many of our cold spells, his plants would die. And at one point it all became just too much. He gave up on his Winter crops all together.

"Mother Nature -- you can't control it so you go with the flow and that's what we did. But disheartening, yeah," he explains.

But this Spring may offer some hope -- for new growth and hopefully better profits.

Carson is hoping the cold nights will turn to warmer ones soon."I think we will have an early season but I am just waiting for the cool nights to end and then we will start working the fields and get the plants in early," he adds.

So he's also rushing to germinate his seeds now -- hoping to get seedlings in the ground in the next few weeks.  

An early spring means he may be able make up for loses last Winter and sprout some early profits.

Carson says it's still a little early, "I think that it's three weeks early, so 21 days, which makes a huge difference on the plants and when they go to market." 

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