Cold weather delays Yukon growers

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Cold weather delays Yukon growers

Gardening may seem a long way off, but for professional growers in the Yukon, the season is already behind schedule.

Some Yukon growers say there's a delay because of colder than usual March temperatures — and if it goes on for much longer, it could have significant ramifications.

"There's certain things, if we don't get them planted this week or next week, there's not really too much point in starting them, which will impact our overall business," said Kate Meechan, from Elemental Farm near the Takhini Hot Springs Road, north of Whitehorse.

"Our planting is supposed to have already begun, typically this time of year, the end of February we fire up our greenhouse," she said.

But with temperatures at times hovering below -30 C overnight the last few weeks, it's meant delays for many growers like Meechan. 

"When it comes to agriculture there's always something... too hot or too cold or too dry or too wet, there's a lot of variables and you have to roll with the punches," she said. 

"But a cold like this, it certainly leaves us going into the season already behind."

At Yukon Gardens in Whitehorse, Lorne Metropolit is also keeping a close eye on the weather. 

"Delays hurt," he said. "This is going to delay our seeding a bit, delaying us from opening up our facilities."

Metropolit said he would have hired 3 or 4 people a few weeks ago had the weather been warmer.

"Unfortunately this is going to hurt them and the salary department. It's not nice but there's not much we can do."