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Southern manitoba question about snow  RSS feed

 
jordan barton
Posts: 12
Location: Beautiful Manitoba Canada Zone 3A
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Didn't quite know where to put this. I was wondering if anyone melts the snow with alternative means(tarp,plastic,dye'd water) where there garden is to get a earlier start. I have tried looking this up without any success. Don't know if it would help doing it or if it would have no effect. I figured the earth could be worked maybe 2 weeks or so earlier than the rest of the yard.
Just wondering what your opinions are.
Thank you
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 268
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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Absolutely.
As soon as I can get out there this year I'll rake back the wood chips to a mound around the perimeter of the garden , set up a few high things in the middle(5 gal buckets with planks across) and stretch some plastic over top to make a tent type affair and have water flow off, not pool.
Hold the edges down over the mounded chips with planks, bricks, branches, planters, whatever.
Leave the ends open to allow evaporated moisture out in the sunshine.
I'm looking to warm the soil with the sun, dry the soil faster. I'll bring the wood chips back when the soil is getting too dry, maybe June or later.
 
jordan barton
Posts: 12
Location: Beautiful Manitoba Canada Zone 3A
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That's a great idea. My garden is right next to our garage(south facing)and the garage colour is yellow and reflects a large amount of the sun back onto the snow. If I don't do anything to it it will melt the snow much faster than the snow closer to the tree line as they receive much less direct sun.
Guess I know what I will be doing the next few days. It's been really nice out and we got half the amount of snow as last year.
Maybe Ill will be putting hay/straw down as I see a lot of farmers doing that in there ditches.
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 268
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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The darker the soil is, the better it will warm.I use clear plastic, not black. I have lots of stuff I expect will reseed itself if it gets sunshine.

I don't know why they would use straw over cold ground, seems like it would insulate and keep it cooler. Maybe in the ditches to act as a runoff filter? Keep from clogging the culverts?

Since you already have an existing wall there I would start making a permanent cold frame/greenhouse to extend your season another month into the fall.
Just need some kind of durable framing to lay some plastic over for those first few frosts in the fall. 10ft lengths of metal electrical conduit are cheap, saplings even cheaper. Half hoop house frames?


 
jordan barton
Posts: 12
Location: Beautiful Manitoba Canada Zone 3A
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Roy Hinkley wrote:The darker the soil is, the better it will warm.I use clear plastic, not black. I have lots of stuff I expect will reseed itself if it gets sunshine.

I don't know why they would use straw over cold ground, seems like it would insulate and keep it cooler. Maybe in the ditches to act as a runoff filter? Keep from clogging the culverts?

Since you already have an existing wall there I would start making a permanent cold frame/greenhouse to extend your season another month into the fall.
Just need some kind of durable framing to lay some plastic over for those first few frosts in the fall. 10ft lengths of metal electrical conduit are cheap, saplings even cheaper. Half hoop house frames?




I was thinking the straw would absorb the heat rather than allow the sun to reflect(albeito?) I am not entirely sure why they do it. I assumed to get rid of the snow faster as they put it on the taller mounds. Actually I have a lot of cardboard that I got from behind Pizza Hut that I was going to kill the grass for my sheet mulching. Maybe that will work as it will get moist/breakdown more before I start sheet mulching, kinda let Mother Nature do it for me lol.

I wasn't thinking of putting a greenhouse/cold frame as this is my parents house and I would rather leave that for when I have my own home. Though I have though to put plastic over it so I can melt the snow sooner allowing me to get at the ground sooner. Last year on our driveway there were areas that's didn't melt as well as the rest of the driveway, so what I did was put a tarp over it black side to the sky and it seemed to heat up the snow better.

 
Paul Adrian
Posts: 10
Location: Sasaskatchewania, Canuckistan (Zone 3a)
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jordan barton wrote:I was thinking the straw would absorb the heat rather than allow the sun to reflect(albeito?) I am not entirely sure why they do it. I assumed to get rid of the snow faster as they put it on the taller mounds.


Hello from SW Sask. I can tell you unequivocally that covering your garden with straw will NOT heat it up earlier in the spring. Straw insulates, and actually delays soil warmth. I lifted a few flakes a couples weeks ago when the yard was bare, and there was still snow underneath (straw had been on all winter).

I use straw to delay early plants that try to start growing as soon as they feel the first hint of warmth because I know that we could still have 3 - 4 hard frosts and more snow fall before the end of April / May. The *average* last frost date for my area is May 30!
 
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