47April 6, 2011

With the arrival of April, there are many things you should be doing in your gardens. OK, here comes the list!

If you haven’t taken the winter mulch from around your perennials, rosebushes and other plants, now is the time to begin. The soil is warming up and a thick layer of mulch will slow down the plants breaking their dormancy. Keep in mind that any of those leaves from last fall that have tangled up around your plants, should be removed ASAP.

If you have a problem with ticks in your yard and you know that deer may be present in your neighborhood, it is now time to apply a product called Damminix. Damminix is a proven way to reduce the number of deer ticks in your yard. Deer ticks are the leading carrier of Lyme disease. Damminix consists of tubes that are filled with cotton balls. The cotton balls are treated with an insecticide. The tubes are placed around your yard. Mice will pick up the cotton balls and bring them back to their nest. The fur of the mouse is coated with the insecticide. The insecticide does not harm the mouse. As the mice roam around, the deer ticks will jump on the mouse. The insecticide kills the deer tick. The more ticks killed, the less there are to multiply and increase the risk of contracting Lyme disease in your own yard. We have this product in our store.

For those of you who did not put lime down on the gardens and the lawn last fall, now is a good time to apply lime. You can use a pH test kit to tell you the correct amount to use or you can use the rule of thumb to apply 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden. If you are tired of lugging a lot of bags of lime, you may want to check out a product from Jonathan Green Company called Mag I Cal. One bag of this product will cover the same area as 5 bags of lime.

If you haven’t cleaned out the holiday greens from your window boxes, now is the time. You can fill those window boxes and other planters with pansies. Pansies will tolerate the cold nights. To keep the pansies growing their best, remember to remove the old flowers. Pansies will grow their best if you fertilize them on a weekly basis with a 20 –20 –20 water-soluble fertilizer. If you tend to forget to feed your plants, you may want to add a time-release fertilizer to the soil. This fertilizer will release a bit of fertilizer each time you water your plants.

If your perennials were beginning to break ground, it would be advisable to fertilize them with some fertilizer. A granular organic fertilizer will slowly feed the plants. This will help to put out growth at a steady pace, without creating too much growth before the weather warms up.

That list should give you something to do this weekend!

On a more personal note, most of our regular customers have met Comet, the big Siberian Husky who hung out by the front desk at the store. Unfortunately, Comet passed away on April 1st. Comet was 14 years old. As many have said over the years, 14 is old for a big dog. Comet loved the attention of the children who visited the store and he especially loved the attention of all the women who shopped in the store. He never met a piece of bread that he didn’t like. Comet was Joyce’s dog, but once I met him it didn’t take long for him to become my dog too. As most of you who have lost a pet know, this is a tough time for all of us. So to our buddy Comet, rest easy now. You will be sorely missed by many but nowhere near as much as you will be missed by Joyce and myself.

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

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