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February, 2016 I just love February. It signals a time when all of my indoors plants will start to actively grow again. It’s a time when I can think about fertilizing more often, watering more often, and a great time to repot those plants that have outgrown the current pot. Up until this time they have been sitting in my windows in what appears to be stasis. But, as we march into mid February and early March the days are getting longer and the quality of the light is increasing. I’m definitely going to keep an eye on them more, the hard part is that I’ve gotten used to ignoring them.
April, 2016 We’ve been getting a lot of questions about applying lawn fertilizers. It’s still too early no matter what some of those commercials tell you. We recommend you wait until you have mowed the lawn for the first time. Our lawns are just coming out of dormancy. They are using stored energy from last year and do not need the additional nutrients. In addition, most of the spring fertilizer applications contain a pre-emergent for crabgrass. For them to remain effective they need to be applied when our weeds (loose term) become active.
October, 2016 Wow, how time flies! I hope it was a good season. The weather cooperated for the most part. The early fall rains were a bit much but at least it recharged some of the ground water levels. There appears a lot to do as fall comes to an end. So let’s begin!
I had some extra time this past weekend so I thought it might be a good time to do a little cleaning and maintenance on my gardening tools. Usually I’m pretty good, but it looked like I may have not cleaned off my shovel when I used it last. It was full of dirt and it was crusted on pretty good. Took me a while but I was able to use some elbow grease and with the help of some steel wool and a file I was able to clean off the rust and sharpen any edges. I finished off with some linseed oil applied to any metal and focused especially well on the wooden handles so they don’t dry out. They look so pretty now! A word of warning. If you plan to use any of your new clean tools be sure to let them sit for a bit so that any solvents can evaporate. Depending on the oil that is used that may take up to a week.
While I wait for that killing frost to occur, it was also a good time to start lowering my lawn mower blade. If I leave my grass on the longer side, the weight of the snow can compress the grass, trapping moisture within. This can open up a whole new ballgame with fungal disease problems over the winter. The recommended mowing height for my grass type, which is predominately bluegrass, is 1.5 to 2.5 inches in height. I had the height at its highest point for the summer and now I want to reverse that and cut at the lowest height recommended for my lawn. But I don’t want to cut it off all at once, that may burn some of the lower shoot growth that has been shaded from the sun. So, I am going to do this in two or three steps. I will drop the blade one notch for the next few mowing cycles.