57January 26, 2017

At this time of the year, gardeners get bored. There is really not a lot you can do outside. You can keep up with the cleanup of twigs and leaves that seem to appear out of nowhere. You can do some pruning of your trees and shrubs. You can also get ready for spring by doing some preparation work now. Let me give you a few suggestions.

We all seem to have a number of tools we use in the growing season. Now would be a good time to get your lawn mower tuned up. Have it serviced now and it will be ready for spring. You should get the oil changed, get new filters put in place, a new spark plug and a new mower blade or blades. A sharp mower blade will cut the blades of grass. A dull blade will tear the grass. This causes a ragged edge that allows for more water loss and can make your lawn more susceptible to fungus diseases.

If you have a gas weed trimmer or a leaf blower, you should get those serviced now. Buy the trimmer line you need if you ran out last fall. Buy the oil you will need to mix with the gas. If you do all these things now, you will be saving the headache of trying to get your equipment serviced in the busy spring season.

Take a look at the tools you use when you garden. Is it time to replace that leaf rake? If it is, buy one now and have it ready for spring. Are your pruning tools older than you are? Maybe its time to buy some new tools? Pruning tools can be sharpened. This will extend their useful life and it will make your life easier when you are doing your spring cleanup.

Do you need a new pair of gardening gloves?  You should go through that pile of old gloves and throw out the useless ones. Garden gloves now come in sizes and you should be able to find a size that comfortably fits your hand.

If you have planters that you have used for a few years, you should dump out the old potting soil and then give those planters a bath. Spores of fungus diseases can over winter on the surface of old potting soil and on the container itself. The spores are “eggs ‘ for next seasons fungus diseases. You should wash the container with soap and water and then rinse the container with clear water. Once this is done, you should mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. You then wipe down the entire planter with this solution. You then give it a few minutes to kill the spores and then rinse the container with clear water. You can then put the container away and wait for spring to arrive.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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