MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As any gardener knows, it’s been one of those springs – too cold and too wet to plant. But Friday presented the perfect chance to get out into the garden.

“Spring fever has definitely hit,” Minneapolis resident Joe Smedsrud said.

He wasn’t wasting a drop of the precious sunshine. In short sleeves and shorts, Smedsrud was in his front yard pulling weeds and beautifying gardens.

“It’s nice to be out and enjoying the nice weather and getting stuff accomplished,” Smedsrud said.

After a cool spring and the third wettest on record, gardeners are behind the eight ball. In a normal year, they’d have vegetables in by Memorial Day and flower boxes full. Instead, most are scrambling to get plantings and vegetables bought and in the ground.

“They’re saying a lot of things aren’t coming up for a while because it’s been so slow. Patience is really hard, especially in Minnesota where the growing season is so short,” said gardener Gretchen Harris.

At the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, vendors were flush with eager customers and their business was brisk – all of them stocking up for a weekend of digging in.

“You have a cold and rainy weekend, you can’t make it up, it’s real tough,” said Allen Goldeman, who owns a greenhouse.

Fortunately, the East Bethel greenhouse caters to other garden stores and landscapers, but he says customer demand for his plants follows the weather. This late into the spring planting season, the demand hasn’t been great.

“Usually, we have two or three gangbuster weekends, so much so that we can’t handle it. We haven’t had that yet,” Goldeman said.

Bill Hudson

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