48 March 31, 2007

Well, the snow is almost gone and it is time to get outside.

If you mulched your perennials and shrubs for the winter, it is time to start taking that mulch off of the plants. If you used salt marsh hay, you should take about 1/2 off this weekend and the other 1/2 off in about a week. This will allow the plants to acclimate to the warmer temperatures. You can also spread out the bark mulch if you used that as mulch. Again take back about 1/2 now and the other 1/2 in about a week. If the mulch remains at it’s winter thickness, it will slow down the rate at which the soil warms up. Now, we want the soil to warm up. Let’s get those plants growing!
I think you should probably wait about a week before you begin fertilizing your perennials. A small dose of fertilizer will help the rose bushes begin to grow. Trees can be fertilized now. Personally, I prefer to use a granular or organic fertilizer to feed the trees. The fertilizer tree spikes do work, but they can dissolve at a random rate. Spikes should not be used if the tree is a newly transplanted tree or if it is shallow rooted.

Glen had a question this week about what you can do to prevent damage from dogs urinating on the lawn. Now, if you could teach the dog to use the bathroom in the house, your problems would be solved. Short of that, here’s what you can do.
Dog urine contains salts and a certain amount of ammonia. The ammonia acts like putting concentrated fertilizer on your lawn. The salts can burn the roots.  If you can water the lawn area where the do goes right after the dog urinates in a spot, the water will dilute the salt and the ammonia.  Your second option is to apply gypsum to the lawn. Gypsum will help to neutralize the salt. Not as effective as watering the spots after the dog does potty, but it should work over time. Hope that helps you Glen.

Once the lawn dries out after the snow melts, get those leaves off the lawn. Wet piles of leaves will kill the grass. It’s still a bit early to apply step 1 or the fertilizer and crabgrass control. We’ll see what the weather does and I let you know when to do that.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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