49March 23, 2017
The snow is slowly melting and soon the month of April will be upon us. Let’s hope that we have had our last accumulating snowfall.
Once the snow melts and the ground dries a bit, it is time to apply lime to your lawn and your vegetable gardens. Your perennial beds may need lime too. Lime neutralizes acidity that occurs in the soil. When your soil is acidic, it is harder and sometimes impossible for your plants to take up nutrients that are in the soil. You can do what is known as a Ph check of the soil. There are test kits that we sell in our store that will allow you to test your soil for the level of acidity in the soil. Once you know the level of acidity in the soil, you will know how much lime to add to the soil.
Generally speaking, you will probably need to apply lime each year. There are many things that can make your soil acidic. Rain and snow will make your soil acidic. Fertilizers will make your soil acidic. If you have oaks, maples or pines in your yard, their sap will make the soil acidic. As you can see, there are a lot of things that can make your soil acidic and those things will make it harder for you to grow a lawn or to grow vegetable or flower plants in your yard. Applying enough lime in the spring is one of the first things you should be doing in the spring.
Many of you have a patch of lawn along the side of the road. In the process of keeping the roads free of ice, municipalities will apply salt or salt –like substances to the roads. Once the snow or ice begins to melt, the plows push the melted glop to the side of the road. The salt will then get into the soil and can damage the roots of your lawn. If you have trees or shrubs planted close to the road, the salt can harm the trees and shrubs too. You need to get that salt out of the soil. Applying horticultural gypsum to the soil can do this. The gypsum causes the salt to wash out of the soil. This prevents damage to your grass and also prevents damage to your plants. We have gypsum at our store. The amount you apply depends on how big of an area you need to treat. Applying gypsum is another one of the things you should be doing as soon as the ground thaws in the spring.
The heavy, wet snow we had last week may have damaged some of your trees and shrubs. If you have tree branches that were broken off, the remaining stump needs to be pruned back to prevent future damage to the tree. If this is not something you can safely do, be sure to call a tree service to do this important task. Your shrubs that have broken branches should be pruned back too. Unless the plants are too tall, this is a garden chore that you should be able to do. If not, get a landscape service to come in and do the pruning for you.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.