Continue spring clean-up

2013-04-08T14:03:00Z Continue spring clean-upWayne Gruber | Gardens on the Prairie
April 08, 2013 2:03 pm  • 

* Remove tree wraps or guards.

* Amend beds with compost if possible or fertilize with slow release fertilizer (we use Osmocote) when growth begins.

* Deadhead early flowering bulbs—leave foliage until it yellows.

* Place Popsicle sticks or other markers in areas where bulbs are planted so that you don’t "accidentally" dig them up when planting later in the year.

* Perennials are best divided and transplanted when growth is approximately 3 to 4 inches tall. Divide summer and fall flowering perennials and ornamental grasses in the spring as needed. Every three years or so is a good rule of thumb.

* Make sure your soil is not too wet. Take a handful of soil and compress. It should fall apart easily in your hand.

* Get those weeds now, while they are small!

* Apply a pre-emergent herbicide such as Preen or corn gluten and replenish mulch as needed to help prevent weeds throughout the year. Mulch also helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperatures throughout the year.


* Reseed damaged areas in spring if necessary. Rake area first to improve seed to soil contact. Do not apply pre-emergent crabgrass control in reseeded areas as it will keep good seed from germinating as well. Keep seeded area moist until grass has germinated.

* Apply pre-emergent crabgrass control when the Forsythia blooms.

* Sharpen your mower blades. Dull blades increase turf stress and poor appearance.

* Begin mowing as needed. Many people start mowing too late. To maintain healthy turf, never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off in one cutting.

* Leave grass at 2.5"-3.5" long (3-4" if you have tall fescue). Cutting shorter than this is referred to as "scalping" and results in turf stress, poor rooting, less drought tolerance, and more opportunities for weeds and crabgrass to invade. Zoysia grass is an exception to this rule and should be cut at 1".

* Apply fertilizer in spring if desired. Keep in mind, spring fertilization can mean increased mowing.

* When creating planting beds remember that mowing along soft curves is much easier than mowing around sharp angles.

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