April 2, 2014
The heavy rains of this past weekend really made the snow piles shrink in size. For the first time in a long time, we could actually seed the lawn in our backyard. Once the ground dries out a bit, you should begin to remove the winter mulch that you put around your plants. At this point in time, you want to remove about 1/3 to ½ of the mulch. This will allow the ground to slowly warm up. In another week or so, you can remove the rest of the winter mulch. If you wish to spruce up the mulch in your flowerbeds and/or around your shrubs, wait a bit so that the soil has a chance to warm up a bit. A new layer of mulch now will insulate the soil and slow down the warming process that your plants need to wake up from their long winters’ nap.
As your tulip bulbs begin to grow, their flower buds will be a source of interest to squirrels and rabbits. Each year, we get customers who come into the store and tell us about the flower buds being eaten off the top of the tulips. The flower buds are lying on the ground. In many cases, it is the squirrels that are doing the damage. They appear to be interested in the sugary water that oozes out of the stem when the flower bud is chewed off the flower stalk. To prevent this from happening, you should spray your emerging tulip flower stalks with an animal repellent. As the stalk grows, you will need to do repeat applications to keep the squirrels at bay. The foliage of the tulips and crocus can be a spring treat for the rabbits. The new leave growth should be sprayed too. As your perennials put up new growth, they are some of the first available food for rabbits, squirrels and woodchucks. Your perennials should also be treated with an animal repellent to keep these critters at bay.
At this time of the year, we always have customers who come into the store and ask how soon they can plant grass seed in their yard. Grass seed needs a warm soil if the seed is going to sprout. The right time can vary from year to year based on how fast the snow melts and how soon the sun can warm up the soil. Generally speaking, once the grass in your lawn begins to grow and needs to be cut, then the soil has warmed up enough for the grass seed to begin to grow. When it comes to seeding a lawn or patching your lawn, it is better to wait for the soil to warm up a bit before you put down your seed.
Many people can in over the weekend and so many of them were complaining about the tunnels in their lawn from the winter long activity of the moles. If you have the tunnels in your lawn, you should wait for the soil to dry a bit and then press those tunnels back down. The tunneling will have severed the roots and if the grass is pressed back in place, you stand a chance of getting the grass to put out new roots before the weather warms up a bit more. If the tunneling of the moles has been severe, you should also apply a granular mole repellent to your lawn. This repellent will drive the moles out of your lawn.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.