Some people complain about Calgary's weather. They act surprised when we get snow in April or May, but a good urban farmer knows the general weather trends and acts appropriately. That's why we start our non-hardy seedlings inside in early April and plan for our major outdoor plantings in mid to late May.
Therefore the snow that Calgary got for a week in early May didn't hold us up. In fact, we ordered 1 cubic yard of top quality soil from Eagle Lake back when it was snowing and had it delivered on Friday so that we were prepared to take advantage of the decent weather last weekend.
The first weekends work is never fun, it is a lot of manual labour. We transferred the soil back into the garden. Then we tilled the entire area at the same time as we weeded. We then spread the new soil around and tilled once again. That is about 8 hours of hard work but which is crucial to the upcoming growing season. If you don't till the soil many vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, onions and potatoes won't grow well in cement-like conditions.
With the weather looking good for the next couple of weeks, we'll do our planting in two stages, cold hardy plants (potatoes, carrots, onions, radishes, peas, lettuce) first and then non-hardy plants which need temps above 5 degrees Celsius (peppers, melons, pumpkins) after. Watch for twitter updates as the weather improves and things start to grow!