47April 6, 2017

Well, it’s finally April and spring is here! Well, it’s sorta spring. I don’t think that we expect or want snow in spring. The rain on Tuesday and on Thursday will help to melt the snow and the forecast is for warmer temperatures next week. Your itching to get outside to do something so in between the raindrops, here are some things to do.

If you have ornamental grasses in your yard, you can cut them back in the fall or you can cut them back in the spring. You need to cut them back to eliminate the old dead blades of the grass. If you cut them back in the fall, you can check that off the list. If you didn’t cut them back in the fall, you had better get busy now. Once the new blades of grass emerge, it is very hard to cut out the old blades without cutting back the new growth. Make sure that you prune back the ornamental grasses soon if they still have the old growth.

Early spring is also a good time to prune back the rose bushes. You should prune out any of the black canes because they are usually dead wood. You can also prune back growth to make the plant smaller and more manageable to work around during the summer. Pruning back now also helps to “open up “ the plant, allowing better air circulation that in turn helps to decrease fungus diseases during the summer. Don’t forget that the Rosa Rugosa or beach roses benefit from being pruned back in the spring. This will help to contain the growth and make for a smaller and more manageable plant.

If you haven’t applied lime to your lawn, vegetable garden and your flowerbeds in over a year, you probably should apply lime to those areas. Lime neutralizes the acidity in the soil that in turn makes it easier for your plants to use the fertilizer that you apply during the growing season. If you are not sure about how much lime you should apply, we have soil test kits that will check your soil.

I have had any number of people who have asked me if it is time to plant some grass seed. Last summer was tough on lawns and there are a lot of bare spots in many lawns. The soil temperatures are still very cool so it is advisable to wait until the soil warms up before putting down grass seed.

The pansies are available and now would be a good time to get them planted. Pansies are very cold tolerant and actually prefer the cool temperatures. Dump out the old potting soil that are in your containers or window boxes and replace the soil with Coast of Maine potting soil. The pansies thrive in this potting soil and if you keep up with removing old flowers and if you fertilize the plants with a good quality fertilizer (hint: it’s probably not the fertilizer you think you should use!) then you will have beautiful flowers right up until late May or early June.

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

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