Comparing Spring 2011 and Spring 2010

Let’s take a break from seed crop planning to talk about the weather.

Farmers love to complain about the weather. And after last year’s hot dry spring, it’s easy to complain about this year’s wet and cold.

The difference between the two springs was blatant when I compared pictures from 2011 and 2010.


April 11, 2011

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April 11, 2011

April 14, 2010

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April 14, 2010


April 29, 2011
April 24, 2010

April 29 – ASPARAGUS

April 29, 2011
April 29, 2010

April 29 – RHUBARB

April 29, 2011
April 29, 2010

April 29 – GARLIC

April 29, 2011
April 29, 2010


My guess is that all these biennials and perennials are 7 to 10 days later than in 2010. BUT spring 2010 was very early, which makes these plants right on schedule for 2011.

What makes spring 2011 feel so late is the continuous rain since mid-April. The ground just isn’t drying up. We did manage to squeeze two days of ground prep and planting this weekend but it has since resumed pouring.

How is the weather in your neighborhoods?

12 thoughts on “Comparing Spring 2011 and Spring 2010

  1. Sounds like your spring is similar to ours, near as I can tell we are about 2 weeks behind 2010 and a whole month behind 2009…which had a very nice spring. Our overwintered turnips are just now starting to form stalks but no flowers and none of our fruit trees or berry bushes have any leaves yet…except for the honeyberry, but it’s always extremely early. I believe we have set records for the number of days under 60°. Not including 2009, it seems as though we have been experiencing cooler and cooler springs for a number of years now….makes it more challenging and keeps us on our toes.:)

    1. I think our spring weather trends have been working towards extremes. We’ve been alternating 1-2 years of unseasonably warm and early with 1-2 years of incredibly. However whereas it sounds like 2010 wasn’t so good for you. 2010 spring in Quebec was the warmest and earliest in Quebec in many many years.

      Well these cold wet years let us select hardier seed crops and catch up on office work.

      I hope your season doesn’t take too long to warm up!

    1. I only wish I had more photos from 2009 to add to the comparison.

      I have a suspicion that 2009 was colder and later for perennials to get going but that we still working in the field a week earlier than this year.


  2. It didn’t rain at all in my part of SK in April. (Of course, the snow was still melting for the first half.) Hope we get some rain soon! I have fall-planted spinach that’s up and looking good, but only one of my ten garlics seems to have survived. I’ve never grown garlic before, so I can’t say what the problem there is.

    1. Hi Naomi,

      Maybe our 2010 and 2011 seasons got switched.

      In 2010, we were hoping for rain through most of the spring while I heard that SK has more than enough rain to share.

      This year I’d be more than happy to give you some of our rain.

      Are you sure your garlic just isn’t taking its time coming up? Some years, I only see emerging 2nd week of May.

      Do you mulch your garlic? This can slow down the soil thawing and prolong garlic’s emergence. If you don’t mulch, it’s possible that severe cold when there was no snow cover damaged the garlic.


  3. It has been raining continuously since mid-April, where we had a one-day window to get Snow Peas in the ground after two weeks of rain in early April. We now have to wait a minimum of one week with no rain and lots of sunshine and wind if we are to be able to plant anything. Our hard clay likely needs more then a week. This is our first year doing a CSA so we are getting very anxious about making our first target planting of May 10th. I don’t ever remember asking for it *not* to rain but right now I am begging the rain to stop … and come back at the end of May. Our rain barrels are full but we don’t have nearly enough to capture all of this water to use in the summer. This is when tunnels would be very good because at least the soil could stay dry!

    Love the comparison pictures and glad to know we’re not the only ones!

    1. I hope you get your respite from the rain to get your crops planted and then some nice showers to get the plants established.

      This summer we’re building a new greenhouse for wet springs like these. It will be unheated and mainly used for season extension.

      Good luck with the weather and your new CSA!

      1. Since this is our first year and we’re starting small we haven’t invested in anything beyond seeds and row cover (for insects) but an unheated greenhouse or hoop house in on the “wish list” for sure, as long as our CSA grows and it makes economic sense. I keep hearing you+Fred’s voice from the Guelph Organic conference to stay small, to perfect the operation before expanding and to limit expenses. Thank you!

  4. Thanks, Dan. I did mulch the garlic. From what I’ve been hearing, I think I did it too soon in the fall, and perhaps my garlic grew too much before the first hard frosts. I might dig up a bulb (if I can find it!) to see if it yields any clues. Otherwise, I’ll just wait!

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