Regina reports 5th hottest July on record with impact on producers, gardeners

Last month was the fifth hottest July on record for the Queen City, according to data from Environment Canada.

Regina’s average temperature in July was 21.8 degrees Celsius – nearly three degrees warmer than the National Weather Agency’s “climate normal” based on a 30 year total.

While heat was in abundance in the province, rain was not, and Environment and Climate Change Canada recorded barely half the normal amount of rainfall for July. They state 31.6 millimetres of rain fell last month, compared to the climate normal 66.9 millimetres.

This ranks it as the 38th driest July since records began in Regina. The driest was July of 1887 with 1.5 millimetres.

“There’s certainly a dry trend, this probably being the driest year we’ve had in the last like I’ve said about five years,” said Matthew Struthers, crop extension specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Struthers said they have seem many crops across the province ripening more rapidly because of the heat and dryness.

“July and the end of June there where it got really, really hot just kind of set the tone for the rest of the season and, unfortunately, most of the crops in the province look quite poor,” Struthers said.

He said the temperatures are much too hot for crops, especially with no rainfall.

“Hopefully we don’t have too many more of these Julys,” said Struthers.

Within the city, those with green thumbs are also battling Mother Nature.

Jocelyn Hutchinson has been working diligently to keep her plot at the Grow Regina Community Garden bountiful.

“As everyone knows we’ve had no rain, so it’s just water, water, water,” said Hutchinson, who has been gardening for the past 30 years.

Prepping in advance, Hutchinson hauled manure in to her plot earlier in the season, but says tending to the garden is still much more demanding than in a typical year.

To lighten some of the load, she and her daughter have been tag teaming their plots.

“It’s a lot more time consuming this year. We’ve always been able to count on rains to sort spell us off a bit and things like that, but there hasn’t been anything,” said Hutchinson.

She is optimistic some August rains will fall to send gardeners some reprieve, but Struthers is hoping it holds off until after harvest.