April 3, 2013
I was out walking the dog the other morning and I was surprised at how much snow had melted away in just 4 days. You have to love the strength of the sun to melt snow even when we think it feels cold outside!
We have received a couple of shipments of pansies. The question that always comes up at this time of the year concerns the temperatures and if it is safe to put pansies outside now. Pansies are one of the most cold tolerant of the early spring flowers. I have seen times when the plants freeze solid during the night and the next morning they thaw out and the flowers continue to bloom. If you have spring fever and want to fill those planters with spring flowers, now is the time to get those pansies in the ground.
For many of you, the snow has finally disappeared from your lawn. This will get you thinking about getting the lawn in shape for the spring.
Once the snow is gone, the ground will probably be wet for a few days. If the ground is wet, raking up any winter debris can cause the grass to be pulled up by a process of raking. If your soil is very wet, give it a few days before you begin to rake the lawn. Metal leaf rakes are great for pulling up the dead crabgrass but plastic or bamboo rakes will do a better job of cleaning up any other debris without causing damage to the grass.
Once you have the debris cleaned up, it is time to apply lime to your lawn. If you are not sure if your lawn needs lime, you can do a simple soil test that will tell you the PH of the soil. We sell the kits in our store. Once you have done the test, you will know how much lime to apply to the soil.
The skunks have been active in many yards. They are digging up the lawns in search of grubs. The grubs are the “ baby” stage of the Japanese Beetles. The grubs will do major damage to the lawn by eating many of the roots of the lawn. The damage to the lawn becomes apparent when the weather warms up and the lawn needs to pull more water out of the soil. Since the grubs have eaten the roots, the grass cannot take up water and the lawn dies very quickly. If the skunks are digging in your lawn, they are actually doing you a favor by telling you that you have grubs in your lawn. If the skunks are digging up your lawn, now is the time to apply a grub control to your lawn.
It is a little early to be applying crabgrass control to your lawn. Soil temperatures are still cool and the soil will need to warm up more before the crabgrass seeds will sprout. You can apply just a basic lawn fertilizer now to help your lawn to spring back from the winter.
Well that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.