Jeff Griff from Lowes Garden Center in Chagrin Falls gave us another excellent talk – this time he gave us many tips on what to do and not do to get our gardens and lawns ready for another year!
Here are some of Jeff’s tips:
Now is the time to prune shrubs and trees – but don’t take more than 20% a year. Look up into your trees for broken branches that may fall – hopefully not on someone’s head!
Put down fertilizer for new plants, favorites, and those that are struggling. Synthetic fertilizers (like Ozmicote) are good for containers, but they make the ground soil worse, so use Organics for your shrubs and flower beds. Also, the Organics feed the plants for a longer period rather than the quick dose that Synthetics provide. (He explained that the numbers – like 20-20-20 or 3-4-3 indicate what is available immediately.)
Don’t walk on the garden areas when the ground is wet – you “squish” the air out.
We tend to put down mulch way too early in the spring – wait until the ground is warm and dry. Also, mulch made from all parts of the tree draws nitrogen from the ground. Best to use bark mulch even though it is more expensive.
When using deer repellant remember to rotate products with different smells so the deer don’t get used to one. Teach them right away in the spring that the plants in your yard don’t smell/taste good and you will have less trouble through the summer.
Preen preemergent weed killer is especially good in south facing sunny areas but don’t put it where you have flower seeds you want to grow – it works on both the good and the bad!
Reseed bare spots in the lawn in early spring while there is still a freeze-thaw cycle – seeds get pulled down into the ground. Protect these areas from any crabgrass control product being put down; it will kill all seeds.