Great weather for ducks (or for overseeding and fertilizing your lawn and trees)

This rainy weather is good for ducks (as my mother used to say) or for overseeding your lawn.  Weed and feed is also best applied in cool, wet weather, but not at the same time as the seed.

There are a few new products on the market to fix bare patches too, 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 mixtures of composed/amended soil, seed and fertilizer.  They do not contain a weed-killing ingredient…

If your lawn is patchy (bare spots and grassy spots with some weeds) try the mixed product on a raked lawn.  Although there are several “weed and feed” products out there, I prefer to feed first, then weed, otherwise I tend to feed the weeds,

 

Another garden job for cool, wet, spring weather is fertilizing your trees.  I have three evergreen trees I planted as tiny seedlings when each of my three sons was born.  They were planted in my backyard, but as they reached about four feet in height, I asked the man that owns the building behind us if I could plant them in his yard.  He agreed, so now I get the privacy, but still have space for a garden in my yard…

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To fertilize my trees I use spikes that get pounded into the ground around the tree’s dripline.  One spike for each 2 inch of tree diameter.   There are many varieties on the market, choose the proper spike for the tree(s) you want to feed…

 

As the weather here is going be cool and rainy for a few more days, too muddy for work in my clients’ gardens, I should be able to get these chores done at home.

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Home Depot coupon for miracle gro quick start fertilizer for new plants

If you are planning on adding new plants to your landscape this season, pick up some Miracle Gro Quick Start fertilizer at Home Depot first to ensure your new plants are well fed. Click on the link below and print off this coupon for $5 off…

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Check out this week’s Home Depot flyer for more great savings…

April showers bring May flowers; the advantages of spring rain

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The rain in the weather forecast for the next 10 days here in Ottawa brings the saying  “April showers bring May flowers” to mind.  The rain showers will water the spring bulbs and perennials, encouraging their bloom.  A few days of rain makes the lawns so much greener too.  All the rain showers and cool weather forecasted this spring is also good for planting grass seed or fertilizing your lawn and trees.

There are many products available for spring treatment, some with just seed, some with just fertilizer, and some that combine seed and fertilizer…

Some combinations for your lawn even add peat which is beneficial in keeping the soil rich by absorbing moisture (first picture)  These combination products can be a good thing for novice landscapers and home owners, as the research is done for you.  The proper type of fertilizer and the amount to use is calculated for you.

Corn gluten (second picture) is a popular, organic, pre-emergent treatment for crab grass.  Pre-emergent means it should be applied before the crab grass seeds germinate (start to grow) very early in the spring, as soon as the snow is gone from the lawn.  I use corn gluten on my lawn in the fall, after the first frost, but before the first snow fall.  I have found this practice convenient (one less thing to do in the spring) and most effective against crabgrass.

Fertilizer spikes (third picture) are efficient ways to feed your trees.  Make sure you choose the proper product package for your trees though.  There are packages for evergreens (pine, spruce, cedar etc), ornamental trees (crab apple, lilacs etc) fruit trees (apple, plum etc) and other popular trees (maple, elm etc)    Simply pound the spikes in the ground around the perimeter of your tree’s dripline as specified in the package directions.  Obviously, the larger the perimeter of your tree’s dripline (the outer edge of branches), the more spikes you need.  It is best and easiest to pound these spikes into the ground when the ground is wet and more rain showers are in the forecast.

Make the most of the forecasted rain; your lawn and trees will thank you!

Rabbit Poop is great for your Garden!

I have noticed one thing in common in the gardens I have worked in this spring: lots of rabbit poop! There seems to have been an explosion in the rabbit population in my Kanata suburb of Ottawa. I see quite a few rabbits on my evening walks through our neighborhood  so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the increased amount of rabbit poop in the gardens…

The good news is that rabbit poop is great for your garden. Unlike cow, sheep or chicken manure that is considered “hot” requiring an aging or composting process before use so it doesn’t burn your plants, rabbit poop is “cold” requiring no such process before use.  The other advantage is that it only has a mild smell to it.  The smell actually brings back childhood memories of the pet rabbits my father used to bring home each spring at Easter time.

So, just dig it into the soil between the plants, providing a nitrogen rich fertilizer for your garden. You can also add a pile of poop to your composter as a nitrogen layer, or make compost tea by adding a pile of poop to a bucket of water, stirring well and frequently for a few days and then pouring the “tea” onto your garden.

Any way you use it, rabbit poop is a free and convenient fertilizer for your garden!

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca

Sunburned Lawns

Is your lawn golden brown and crispy?  Don’t despair, look around, you are not alone.  The extreme heat and lack of rain this summer has created havoc on eastern Ontario’s usual lush green landscape.  My heart goes out to the farmers in the area whose crops are so severely affected.

In comparison, the condition of my lawn seems trivial…my front yard usually gets toasty in late July/early August as it has a southern exposure getting full sun pretty well all day, but this year it is well beyond “dry”.  Please remember, grass is supposed to go dormant in these extreme conditions.   At this point there is nothing you can do to revitalize it as it will not respond to fertilier and water is not enough.  Fortunately, our nice green lawns will return with cooler weather and  some rainy days.  When this happens, and your grass starts to turn green again, you can apply a fertilizer to strengthen the roots which will promote a faster recovery.

The one positive thing with the condition of our lawns is that it is easy to pick out the weeds!  If you have the energy in this heat, now would be a great time to remove those pesky weeds including the green “creeping” sort that line the driveways.  Then when the cooler, wetter weather does arrive you can sprinkle some grass seed where those weeds were growing.