While it may be hard to believe, spring is on its way. Here are five tips to help you prepare your lawn and shrubbery for the growing season ahead.
Our love of gardening oftern begins in childhood. Share your passion for gardening with your child or grandchild and plant the seed for generations to come.
An easy way to make sure your garden tools are clean and rust-free is to use a bucket filled with a sand-oil mixture. Fill up a 5-gal. bucket with clean, dry sand, then lightly saturate it with new motor oil. When you are done using tools like shovels, forks and spades, scrape off excess soil and plunge them up and down in the mix. Small tools like trowels can also be cleaned the same way. Wipe the tools dry before storing.
Here's an option for reseeding your lawn. If you have a large lawn or yard area consider renting or having your landscaper use a power rake instead of a rototiller to prepare your soil. A power rake is much wider and larger than a rototiller and able to cover the area more quickly. You will save time and money preparing your lawn for new seed or sod.
A general rule of thumb is to never mow more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off at any one mowing. Secondly, it is better to mow twice a week (during the active growing period) and always try to mow during the coolest part of the day. Lastly, the new mulching deck mowers are terrific as they return the grass clippings and nutrients back to the soil. By doing this you can help the land fills by reducing lawn waste and you can even save an extra fertilizer applications.
Plant windbreaks of trees or shrubs to reduce soil loss from blowing wind and also to provide habitat and shelter for wildlife. Windbreaks reduce the wind around your home and serve as a sight and sound barrier.
Different soil types have different watering needs. You don't need to be a soil scientist to know how to water your soil properly. These tips can help: Loosen the soil around plants so it can quickly absorb water and nutrients. Use a 1- to 2-inch protective layer of mulch on the soil surface above the root area. Cultivating and mulching reduce evaporation and soil erosion. Clay soil: Add organic material such as compost or peat moss. Till or spade to help loosen the soil. Since clay soil absorbs water very slowly, water only as fast as the soil absorbs the water. Sandy soil: Add organic material to supplement sandy soil. Otherwise, the water can run through it so quickly that plants won't be able to absorb it. Loam soil: The best kind of soil. It's a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Loam absorbs water readily and stores it for plants to use.
To water vegetable and flower gardens containing tall plants that may otherwise block the spray, set sprinklers on a sawhorse, or use a tower-mounted sprinkler.
Crowded bulbs, or those producing fewer or smaller blooms than normal probably need to be divided. Do not dig the bulbs until after the foliage has yellowed. Diseased or wormy bulbs should be thrown out. Very small bulbs may not bloom for one or two years so. After digging, bulbs that can't be planted immediately are stored in a cool, dry, dark area at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees. A few bulbs can be put in paper bags and hung from the ceiling. Large numbers of bulbs can be put, no more than 3 deep, on trays with screen bottoms. Inspect bulbs for rot during the storage period. The bulbs are replanted in October. Before digging and dividing, check the cultural information given for specific plants.
Gas or electric yard trimmers, which is right for you? The answer is determined by what size yard you have. Electric trimmers are easier to maintain, but are limited to the length of an extension cord. Gas powered models have engines that must be fueled and properly maintained. However they will provide greater power that can be used without boundaries.