April 14, 2007
This April is definitely not last year’s April. Last year, at this time, we had 60 and 70 degree weather. With a weather report of several snow storms to come by mid month, spring just doesn’t want to arrive this April.
If you can get outside to work in the yard, now would be the time to get some lime on your lawn and planting beds. The seemingly never ending rain has brought us lots of acidity that is causing our soils to be in dire need of lime. You should figure on applying at least 40 pounds of lime for every 1,000 square of lawn or garden.
A good example of the problems associated with a long period of rain is the abundance of moss and algae growing on lawns and other garden areas. Moss and algae grow well when there is a fairly constant source of moisture. If you look at the rains of last May, followed by a rainy summer and then rain in the fall followed by wet soil this early winter, you have a perfect recipe for moss growth.
If you have moss growing in your yard, it won’t do any good to just tear it out. Moss technically doesn’t have roots, but what you leave behind acts like roots. The moss just re-grows. If you want to get rid of moss, you need to kill the moss. There are sprays and granular products that you can apply to lawns, gardens, walkways and roof areas that will kill the moss. The products are applied to the moss when the moss is wet. You can apply it after it rains or you can wet the moss with water. Once the product is applied it should take less than a week to kill the moss. Once the moss is dead, you can rip out the moss. Once the moss is removed, apply lime to the area to help to prevent the return of the moss. Moss can grow from spores that float around in the air. If you don’t change the conditions that allow the moss to grow than the moss will return. Moss grows best in shady locations that have excess moisture and acidic soil. If it continues to rain, there isn’t much you can do to control the moisture. If you can increase the drainage, the excess water will drain away. If you can get more sunshine to the area( you do remember what sunshine is) that will definitely help. Ultimately having the soil with a neutral Ph is the best defense against moss. Applying enough lime each year will definitely make it harder for moss to grow in your yard.
As the soil temperatures rise, your lawn will need some fertilizer. There are many types of lawn fertilizers. Some get the most advertising but they may not be the best investment. You can also find many brands of organic fertilizer. Whatever method you use, the important thing is to give your lawn a steady diet of food all through the season. If you apply lawn fertilizer in the early spring and then don’t follow up with additional applications of fertilizer in late spring and through the rest of the active growing season, your lawn is going to suffer.
Grubs are actively feeding on lawns in our area. If you did not apply a grub control in the fall, you may want to check on the activity of grubs in your lawn. If you have skunks digging in your lawn, then you can be sure that you have grubs in your lawn. If you have dead patches of lawn, you may want to turn over the dead grass to see if there are grubs in the lawn. If grubs are present in you lawn, the faster that you act to control the grubs, the better. As the grubs get larger and larger, there comes a point where the grub controls don’t work too well. The later you go into the spring before you apply a grub control, the more likely you are to have grubs that won’t be killed by a grub control. If you have grubs in your lawn, don’t delay in getting the grub control down on your lawn.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.