By John Lauritsen

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – Is it unheard of to have cold temperatures in April? No. But it is putting some businesses in a spring conundrum.

Twelve out of 25 overnights this month have been below freezing, which isn’t ideal for planting flowers or vegetables. John Lauritsen talked with an Apple Valley business who is seeing the negative side of this April weather.

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Twenty degrees below average outside. But inside the greenhouse at Pahl’s Market, it’s almost tropical.

“It’s lovely to come into these places. That’s why I hit so many this week of the year,” said customer Dee Olson.

For the most part though, the cold has acted like a road block for foot traffic.

“This one ranks up there as the worst,” said Jack Pahl. “It’s definitely a lot slower than usual. Usually you get maybe 10 or 15 sunny days in April. We’ve had two or three.”

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Pahl said the lack of sun, along with rain and snow and cool temperatures that don’t seem to want to budge, are all factors.

“It’s nice to have some moisture in the ground for sure, but when it’s just sitting in water. It’s like you being in the bathtub all day, you’re not going to like that. It’s a problem,” Pahl said.

He would like to see overnight temps reach at least the 40s and ideally the 50s before the real growing season can begin. There are some flowers, like pansies, that can be planted with nighttime temperatures in the high 20s.

But the ground has to be dry or disease can take over. Right now, even average April weather would really brighten up business.

“Hopefully a week. Hopefully the ground dries up. It’s been so wet and cold it’s tough for anything to dry out. Just the name of the game,” said Pahl.

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Pahl also said that a number of trees and shrubs could be planted right now, but it’s not recommended. It’s best to avoid the overnight freeze before you even think of planting most flowers and vegetables.

John Lauritsen