49March 20, 2013

Winter just doesn’t want to let go and allow spring to come to our area. I guess spring will come eventually to our area.

While you are waiting for the snow to melt, take some time and get your gardening tools and equipment ready for spring. One of the things that need to be done is to have sharp tools that are ready for spring. You should have a sharp blade on your lawn mower. If you haven’t had a new blade on the mower in several years, it is probably time to replace the blade. You can put on a new blade if you follow the instructions in the mowers’ owners manual. If you don’t want to do this, schedule a time to have your mower go in for service. An oil change and tune up on the mower isn’t a bad idea either.
The hand pruners and loping shears need to be sharp if they are going to do a proper cutting task. You can sharpen these tools with various tools. We sell sharpening tools at the store. Sharpening tools on a regular basis is easy to do and it will make your pruning chores so much easier.
Shovels need to be sharpened too. A hand held file will put a sharp edge on the shovel. This will make digging holes so much easier to do.

If the snow is off the garden and the ground is thawed out, now is the time to get pea seed into the garden. Peas are one of the first seeds that you can plant in your garden. They prefer the cool temperatures of early spring. Peas don’t like the warm summer weather. If you plant peas too late in the spring, the oncoming summer heat will ruin your crop. However, peas can also be planted in late summer to give you a nice fall crop. If the soil is thawed and not soggy, get some peas planted in your garden.

As spring approaches, and new growth begins to appear on your trees, the winter moth caterpillar will begin to hatch and eat the leaves on your trees. If you remember seeing moths flying around the windows after dark in December, then you will probably have a problem with this caterpillar. The moths mate in early winter and lay eggs on your trees. The eggs hatch out as soon as leaves appear in spring. They attack our flowering cherry tree each spring. An application of horticultural oil now will kill many of the eggs. As soon as the leaves appear in spring, an application of Bt will kill the caterpillars before they can do a lot of damage.

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

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