So, here we are. Tomorrow was the original date of our bare-root shrub delivery. Considering that it is currently a balmy, one degree outside; that would not have worked well. Luckily, that realization came to us in time to reschedule. Heating a greenhouse when the night temperatures are below freezing is about as practical as fixing a fish net with glue. Another issue of great concern, was how we would move the sleeping shrubs between our heated shop and the greenhouse without killing them. Luckily, we have a van and next week is supposed to be more seasonally appropriate. We're still working out the details of thawing frozen potting soil, which we will be receiving tomorrow. Despite all of the challenges, we have this to look forward to!
Each year has its challenges. Last year, the lack of snow cover was a real issue. Along with most of the other growers in the state, we lost tons of potted fruit trees and other early bloomers. Winter also took its toll on many spring-flowering, ball and burlap trees. When you're dealing with crops that take years to produce, there is no easy way to replace what's lost. That's probably why I have been so pro-snow. Then again, I have always liked snow and the extra-curricular activities that it inspires. What I'm quite tired of, is the cold.
If you're wondering how unusual it is for us to be this cold in March, here is a great place to sleuth. If you're curious how this correlates with the past, you can also look at the weather trends from 1981 through 2010, via the same website. Don't have the patience for all of that? Check out these Minnesotan, meteorological conversation starters. Your friends will be blown away by your passion for the mundane. If you're like me, you might also enjoy looking at weather statistics from NOAA's Glencoe Municipal Airport log. Then again, I might find those facts more compelling than most.
What's most interesting to me, is how our memories play tricks on us. I have heard many people comment on how much snow we got last year. That always makes me giggle a little bit, since we really didn't have much snow at all until April. For those who may have blocked that memory, here is a reminder! This picture was taken on April 19th. If you find it easier to swallow this information via statistical format, here is our metro-area snow data, dating back to 1884.
I have found, that drastic weather events tend to stick with people through the duration of the season. The mind can easily turn a wet month into a wet year. Basement flooding can be hard to forget, even long after the tides have receded. That is why it is good to do a little fact check here and there. The health of your landscape can depend on it. This public service announcement was brought to you by a passionate cynic, who wants nothing but the best for your plants; come snow or high water.
My name is Connie Kratzke. I have worked with Kahnke Brothers for 16 years. During this period, I have done everything from watering the plants to designing our website. My role at the nursery involves selling stock, managing inventory, marketing plants and overseeing the production of shrubs and perennials. Sometimes I sit at a desk and other times I can be found in a Bobcat. During my career here, I have become a MNLA Certified Professional. I am also an at large member of the Minnesota Grown Promotion Group/Minnesota Grown Advisory Committee. Currently, I serve as City Arborist for Silver Lake, Minnesota, and a member of their planning commission. My focus is on helping our clients succeed with their landscaping efforts. Education is a huge factor influencing that success. Keeping it real is my strategy. Through sharing my experiences at the nursery and at home, I hope to debunk myths and eliminate concerns. At the same time, I want people to be aware of what doesn't work. Living things are somewhat unpredictable, but they all have basic needs. Understanding how to fill those needs while simultaneously achieving landscape goals is a process that I want to share with as many people as possible, because I truly enjoy it.