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As I am writing this and thinking of what needs to be done in our gardens I look up and see the snow falling – it is April 1st!! – Winter is still not over. Hopefully, soon the cold cloudy skies and cold weather will give way to warmer sunny days and we can finally check out what damage the winter has done to our trees, shrubs and garden.
If you have damaged plants now is the time to cut or prune them back to a strong health branch; with shrubs, tie them up and trim them to shape so they will fill in any hollow spots when the new growth starts. Your lawn has also taken a beating this winter and now is the time to think about aerating, liming and fertilizing. The fall bulbs you planted last fall should be starting to show a signs of growth and soon will be giving your garden a nice display of coulour.
We all have the on going struggle to get rid of moss in our lawn. The west coast’s damp, mild climate encourages the growth of moss spores. The first step in controlling moss is to have a healthy dense lawn. This is achieved with proper fertilizing, watering, drainage and mowing. The more dense the lawn is, the better equipped it is to compete with the moss. To control existing moss it is necessary to remove as much moss as possible. The first step is to apply a moss control product then followed by power raking the moss out of your lawn. Moss control products are high in iron sulfate materials. They can be applied with a spreader or sprayer and should be applied to the lawn areas only.
Be careful not to get any of the sidewalks or buildings because the iron will stain any area it hits. To ensure that the moss will be wiped out, the lawn should be cut, damped, and then apply the granulated moss control. No rain for about 24 to 48 hours is also required. The dead moss will turn a black colour. It is now easily removed with a power rake and any bare spots should be reseeded to restore a dense lawn.
Everyone likes a green lawn without weeds, moss, or other problems a lawn might get. This does not happen by chance and it does require a little time, effort and fertilizer. Fertilizing in the spring must be done with a certain amount of caution. Over applying of nitrogen can cause unwanted problems. To keep your lawn looking great apply a spring fertilizer. The ideal program involves making frequent light applications of quick release fertilizer in early spring and a slow release fertilizer in early summer and late summer to last until fall fertilizing. If you are unable to fertilize frequently then in the spring apply a quick release fertilizer at half rate and a slow release fertilizer in early summer. A mixture of slow release fertilizer with quick release nitrogen will work if you can only do one applicator for the spring and summer.
Remember to check your garden equipment before the garden season gets into full swing and always wear your personal safety protection. Until next time have a great summer and enjoy your garden.