Spring Cleanup

What Grows Under Your Nose?… Tulips!!

Many people have been enjoying our beautiful spring sunshine by indulging in various types of yard work and just enjoying the outdoors.  A lot of cleanup can be done now such as pruning, raking and general yard work.  There is nothing nicer than playing outdoors and planning the yard and gardens look for the year.  Be sure lawn areas are dry enough to safely rake, you do not want to rip up patches of roots.  Do not  remove leaf mulch in flower beds yet as it will prevent weed growth until you are ready to plant.  The leaves will not prevent plants like daffodils, tulips, other bulbs or other perennials that return from root stage from growing.  If you are growing your own bedding plants most things can be planted now except cucumber, squash, cauliflower, broccoli and members of that family.  Be sure to check the packages for their suggestions as some will sprout so quickly and grow so rapidly that containment may become and issue and transplanting may also not work as well.  Be sure to watch for plants that seem to collapse, this may be do to damping off and many seedlings can be vulnerable to this problem.  Sprinkle the seedlings and soil with cinnamon, this is a natural fungicide and works well.

I was sorry to read in the Morning Star of another Owl in rehab due to ingestion of mouse poison.  The use of any poison be it a pesticide, weed killer or mouse poison is counterproductive and harmful to our predatory birds, household pets, other wildlife and our environment.  Predatory birds like hawks, eagles and owls  are not one magnificent creatures they also keep rodent populations in check.  Owl consume about 1000 rodents annually and without their contribution these rodents will soon become uncontrollable.  Not only do they consume rodents but they also dine on field rats, rabbits, squirrels, grasshoppers, cutworms and other insects.  By using rat or mouse poison you not only condemn these rodents to a malingering several day painful death by internal bleeding but any creature that consumes these dying rodents to the same lengthy, painful death.  This can include household pets, other mammals like coyotes, bob cats, cougars, raccoons and skunks.  Children too have consumed these poisons directly, not good or worth the use of poison.  There are other perils that have put wildlife in a dangerous position but this is one that we can do something about.  The best way of getting rid of problematic rodents is prevention.  To enhance your home and yard from infestation be sure to keep dog and cat food unavailable, bird feeders should have trays to gather the seed that the birds spread, be sure to pick up fallen fruit from your trees, keep garbage and recycling secured, use mesh or steel wool to close entry points in foundations and wire holes into your home.  Predator urine can be used to discourage rodents as well as a variety or traps and ultrasonic repellers.  Stay away from glue traps as it is not only a nasty way to die for the rodent but snakes, small birds and kittens can be affected.  Cats too can be very helpful although they too can be harmful to small birds.  Other items too have come into play as being detrimental to bird populations and one of these now includes single use face masks.   Really,  have we not learned anything?   Stay safe, be calm and be kind!

Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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