Spring Lawn Care

Spring Is Here And I Am So Excited I Wet My Plants!

I know that it has been forecast to be a cooler spring but this is above and beyond the norm.  I watched with nearly tear filled eyes as a few flakes fell the other day out here on the farm and was distressed to hear it was even bleaker in Lumby where snow actually accumulated on the ground even if only briefly.  I phoned a friend in Whitehorse and it was 22 below with 8 inches of new snow.  This did not make me fell any better.  As my father would have said “Cold enough for two neck ties”.  Minus 6 Sunday morning had me approaching the greenhouse with a shiver of fear, everything survived I am pleased to say, although I feel that things are not growing as fast as I would like, everything looked perky and happy!   Transplanting is coming along nicely and everything is now planted.  I am excited to know that the Lumby and District Public Market will be open for Mother’s Day weekend so we will be there May 8th.  Unless Covid rears its ugly little head and people misbehave all should be good with the precautions and rules for opening are followed.  

Spring duties are not exclusive to starting our plants and planning the garden.  If you have a lawn there are some big duties to be completed in order to have a handsome lawn that one can enjoy for the rest of the year.  I have always raked then burned my lawn for what I though was a decent looking lawn with the optimum of affect , the easiest approach also satisfying the pyromaniac in me.  This after some serious reading this may not be the best approach and I am reconsidering my options.  First off the practice can be dangerous, many innocent grass fires have gotten out of hand and is defiantly not good for the air quality and may be frowned on if not illegal within city limits.  Never leave your fire unattended and be sure to do so only on a windless day.   Also the opinions vary on whether the practice  is actually any good for weed control or pest control.  It does heat up the soil which will speed up the lawns growth that gives one the impression that the lawn is doing well however although some nutrients are made more available to the lawn, Nitrogen which is very important to your lawns health is destroyed.  It can actually reduce grass yield by 50 percent and can open up soil surface for weed infestation.  Thatch which is what one it trying to rid of is a result of shallow watering, poor aeration and poor soil quality, over fertilizing and the use of herbicides that are all easy to remedy by better lawn management.  Thatch will restrict the amount of water and fertilizer that  penetrates the soil and also houses pests and diseases.  I found one site that gave several tips that will improve your lawn.  Raking with a metal fan tail rake is the first step.  This will remove thatch, snow mold and moss that may occur in areas of poor drainage and too much shade.  Aeration should not be done in spring as it will promote crab grass and other weeds to grow.  Over seed with a suitable grass seed and keep moist until it has a chance to grow.  Fertilize using a mulching mower and mow a little lower than you would normally do.  There are many lawn fertilizers on the market now that are not overly expensive and are organic.  Herbicides should be avoided for the sake of our environment, pets and children.  Over seeding and keeping the lawn deeply watered and healthy will help squeeze out weeds.  Water to a depth of 10 cm weekly as shallow watering will promote shallow roots and this will be harmful to the lawn overall.  For pest control Diatomaceous earth can work well and is organic.  Lawns are expensive to maintain and very time consuming perhaps reducing the amount of lawn one has is another option to the maintenance issue.  Re-landscaping can be a viable option on a normal city lot.  My friend in Whitehorse left me with a parting thought.  For those who are not first time lucky don’t try skydiving!!!  Made me smile!

Happy Gardening!

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

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