What To Do With This Weather

What To Do With This Weather

February 20, 2017

It is February 16, 2017. The weather forecast seems early April. The next 9 days are forecast to be in the 60 degree range for highs and well above freezing for the lows. So many of us are being struck with spring fever and want to accomplish some yard tasks. This is a great opportunity to get ahead on some projects and get your gardens and landscape tuned up for spring. The first task you may want to accomplish is a landscape bed cleanup, removing debris blown in from the winds of late. I will be hooking my mulch this weekend to fluff and aerate so moisture will better penetrate and soil will more readily warm up this spring. Any weeds found actively growing, and I am seeing a few, will be sprayed. When we apply herbicides at this cool time of year it does take longer to affect the targeted plant, but the rewards later in the season can be great with this jump start. 

I have worked consistently over the past 3 years on eradicating all weeds from my landscape beds and can honestly say I am nearly weed free. That being said, after I hook my mulch this weekend I will be applying my first application of pre-emergent weed control. I understand that seed germination is controlled by soil temperature and is still more than likely a ways off, but I refuse to take the chance of missing any early germination after all my work. This will be about 3 weeks earlier than my normal routine and will require a second application around the middle of May. 

I will also be turning my vegetable garden and adding organic matter and compost. Once again a bit early but I remember a few years back when it rained a lot thru March and April. Customers were bemoaning not being able to plant because they couldn’t work their soils. Since I had prepped early I was still able to plant all my early crops in between rain events. 

It won’t be but a couple weeks before pansies arrive and I will want to start my early containers of lettuce, Kale and spinach, so I bet Sunday afternoon I will be cleaning up my containers and preparing the soil in them to be reused or replaced. I used new soil last year in most so I will be removing the top 25% of soil and mixing fresh soil and organic matter with remaining soil so that the day I am ready to plant, these pots are ready to grow. I always say planting should be fun, soil prep is what’s not. I am going to get the “work” aspect of gardening accomplished so it can be all fun when the time is right.

Make good use and enjoy this unseasonably great weather now because there is no doubt in my mind our green lawns will be covered with that “white stuff” again sometime before spring really arrives. John Scott