Sat March 9, 2013
Garden Report

Preparing For Spring

Spring is almost here in the low lands. The lawns that have been brown soon will show a little bit of green. A few warm days, more moisture and we'll be mowing.

KUNC Gardener Tom Throgmorton offers these suggestions on how to get you and your garden ready for the season.

The mulch in the garden is being moved around. Uncover those bumps in the mulch. The spring bulbs - tulips, crocus and scallias are up and getting ready to bloom.

The weeds are right there with the bulbs. Mallow and mustard haven't missed a beat this winter. They're growing. If they aren't dug out soon, they'll take over by summer.

It's a great time of year to take a walk and notice the signs of spring. It's the time of year to walk regularly and get in shape for the work of spring. Before we know it there will be plenty of things to do in the yard. And our joints will need to be limbered up.

Don't blaze through the early gardening chores. It's real easy to pop a gasket by making your body go too fast, too hard, too soon. Stretch or limber up before picking up the shovel or fork.

Right now is the time to cut back ornamental grasses. The next few weeks are the only time the grasses aren’t a statement in the landscape.

Ornamental grasses can be cut back by hand. A sharp shear and strong wrist are necessary. A power hedge shear makes quick work of cutting grasses. Try to run the shear straight through. Cutting back and forth makes a lot of extra cleanup work. Some folks use a reciprocating saw, like a saws-all, to cut their grass clumps.

Most grasses should be cut four to 6 inches above the soil. Smaller grasses like blue fescue can be cut lower. Cool season grasses like blue avena and feather reed grasses are already growing. Cut the new grass blades along with the old dry ones. Depending on the weather, warm season grasses like fountain grass won’t show new green blades for four or six weeks.

Grasses may die-out in the middle of the clump by the third or fourth season. Rejuvenate them in the spring by digging the clump and dividing it into three or five smaller clumps. Fertilize them with organic lawn fertilizer.


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