Most gardeners are hard at it with flower beds all cleaned up, (aren’t they?, I’m sure you are) the pre-emergence weed control, Preen or something similar, has been applied to the areas that are not going to be disturbed soon and your mulch is in place.
This early season has many of us planting almost everything. All the vegetable cole crops, pansies, dianthus and many others just love this weather. Just think, when you plant your annuals and perennials they will be providing color for your yard for months with trees and shrubs, beauty for decades. Plants in your yard add value and provide you “wellness” through exercise, improvement to the environment and positive thoughts- improvement to our mental state. And we all know gardening can be challenging and cause some frustration when things don’t go like we planned, part of the challenge we all face. New growth is underway and the weather can change so protect that vulnerable new growth if we have freezing temperatures. Our frost free date is May 15th. Prune back any growth that shows dead areas on the stems to live green wood and viable buds when growth begins. Remember, butterfly bush will not be putting out any new growth until the end of May and will need to be pruned back at that time.
Your lawn fertilizer should have been applied back in March but it can still be done. Feeding the lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer, one with a high first number, is one of the best ways to combat weeds in your turf. Once the crabgrass seed begins to grow, which is in late April or early May, crabgrass preemergence applications will not be effective. Mother Nature helps our soils by the freezing and thawing process during the winter which “opens” up the soil. Avoid compacting the soil by traveling on it when it is wet and soggy. When compaction occurs to our clay soils it becomes more difficult for grass roots to develop.
Be on the lookout for tent caterpillars in flowering and fruit trees, pine saw flies in evergreens and borers in fruit trees. It is time for some of the final fruit tree sprays as many of our fruit trees are about finished blooming. Be careful not to spray when the trees are in bloom and the bees are pollinating. If you have bag worm bags left on any plants from last year this is a good time to remove them before the eggs hatch and they begin devouring your landscape plantings. Put the “bags” in a baggie and to the trash can with them.
If you have problems with your flowering crab apple trees dropping leaves in late summer this is the time of year to control Apple Scab, a fungal disease, with Bonide’s Fruit Tree Spray. To prevent foliar diseases on roses it is important to begin spraying early in the season, just as new leaves begin to form. Follow label instructions regarding the time to begin spraying and how often to spray.
Have a great spring!
Meadow View Growers
33 years of growing locally