Across southern Saskatchewan people are ditching the winter coats and driving with the windows down thanks to a record-breaking heat wave.
Regina beat a record set from 1934 hitting 14.0 C on Thursday afternoon. Other hot spots in the province include Estevan at 16 C, Leader at 19.3 C, Mankota at 17 C, and Maple Creek at 19.9 C.
At the Rusty Shovel Landscape Shop in Regina, owner Sean Stefan was busy setting up for an early Spring Home Show.
“We would typically probably have a month to a month and a half after that show to kind of gear up for the season,” he said. “But we’re already starting to get people through the store here before the show starts, so we’re anticipating coming out of that show and hitting the ground running right away.”
The stretch of hot weather might have some people looking at their brown yards and dreaming of summer projects. Stefan warned that the ground is still frozen, so it’s too early to dig, unless you want a pool of muddy water
With no snow it is the perfect kind of weather to clean up and measure your yard to plan for those summer projects.
“So once we go through these double-digit temperatures here the next couple of weeks, they should be able to get their project started on the right foot,” Stefan said.
Last year the landscape crews at Rusty Shovel started work outside in the middle of April and the year before that they had to wait for the second week of May.
“This year is going to be substantially early, even earlier than an early year,” Stefan said. “We could be having landscapers going by Easter weekend here is the talk that I’m hearing.”
It might not be quite time for yard work yet, but it is starting to feel like deck weather.
Jim Anderson is the manager at Sherwood Co-op Home Centre where the winter that wasn’t was tough on sales for snowblowers, shovels and ice melt products, but it has boosted spring sales.
“We’ve actually got all of our patio furniture out and our barbecues out and we’ve packed up all our winter snowblowers, shovels and seasonal stuff,” he said. “But we’ve actually sold a few patio sets already.”
He said they are selling patio furniture and even deck sets in March which is at least a month earlier than normal.
Karen Vanduyvendyk is digging into an early spring planting in the back greenhouse at Dutch Growers. Thanks to the super El Niño winter, she said everything has shifted ahead this year, and they have pushed up production and ordering by up to three weeks.
“We start planting, oh I would say about two or three weeks ago, so middle of February is when we start, again this is a little bit earlier than we usually do it,” she said.
Vanduyvendyk explained that the spring planting in the greenhouse still depends a lot on the sunlight. On Thursday they were planting tomatoes to get ready for an open house in April.
Unfortunately for green thumbs in the city, this weather is still not enough to bump up the standard advice of to not plant until May long weekend.
“I think they’re actually going to be planting when they should for a change, as oppose to really pushing it this year,” VanDuyvendyk said. “So I think most of our gardeners are going to see increased success this year. When they plant on May long weekend the ground is going to be that much warmer and everything will be just that much happier.”