Garden Tips

May 3, 2018


Spring Clean Up

SPRING CLEAN UP
Lots to do, especially if you’re like me and didn’t do all my fall cleaning, too many leaves to rake! Shrubs should be inspected, remove broken branches and do a general shaping.  Perennials should have all the of dead material removed.  Grasses should be trimmed back to just above the new grow.  Using a rake is a good way to remove the dead material.

LAWN (two items crab grass control and reseeding the lawn)
Crab grass control is done with a pre-emergent. Once the seeds have germinated it is too late for any kind of control this year.  Crab grass seeds germinate when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees.   Now is the time to apply crab grass pre-emergent to the lawn.  Controlling crab grass is a multi-year program.  The first year will kills most of the seeds, however some survive,  and there are always the seeds from the neighbor’s yard.  Reseeding winter kill or over seeding the lawn should be done this month.  Temperature is right (60 degrees) and rain is frequent.  Seeds should be make good contact with the soil, spread the seed and rake into the soil.  Then consistent water is required every day until the seeds emerge and then you can start to cut back on the watering.  Crab grass control and reseeding CAN NOT BE DONE at the same time.  You should wait 4 weeks between crab grass control and reseeding.

VEGETABLES
Growing vegetables is about timing, there are cool season and warm season.  Planting the cool season veggies (peas, lettuce, carrots, onions etc.) should be done at the beginning of May. Warm season plants (tomatoes, beans, herbs, melons, etc.) should be planted towards the later part of May. 

PREEN
Now is the time to treat the garden with Preen. Did you know that weeding takes more time than any other cultural practice in the vegetable and flower garden? Pulling weeds is not the best use of your time. Preen prevents weed seeds from germinating. It can be used on a wide variety of vegetables and flowers.  After application it should be mixed into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. It should prevent weed growth for a month or more depending upon weather conditions. Repeat applications will be necessary for season-long control of many weeds. In order to keep weeds under control, an early start and continual vigilance is necessary if you want to remain in control the weeds in your garden.

APPLE SCAB
This fungal disease is a very common, and one of the most damaging diseases of several ornamental trees and shrubs in Minnesota. The main symptoms of the disease are leaf and fruit spots. Very susceptible trees can become defoliated by mid-summer, which weakens the trees over time. Fungicides must be applied preemptively to successfully manage apple scab.  Fungicide sprays must begin when the first green leaf tips emerge in spring. Sprays should be repeated until petal drop for crab apple trees. If the tree is healthy and free of leaf spots at this point, further treatments are unnecessary.

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2 Responses to “Garden Tips”

  1. NancyMay 4, 2018 at 6:48 am #

    When is it safe to plant large flowering planters outside this year?
    Thank you

    • Chris KaufenbergMay 8, 2018 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks for your question Nancy! That really depends on the weather but we typically say a good rule of thumb for planting container annuals is around Mother’s Day weekend. Just keep an eye on the overnight temperatures and cover them with a sheet if temps dip below 50 or so.

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