42March 22, 2018

I would guess that none of could believe that we are having the 4Th. northeaster of the month of March. I don’t know if that is any kind of record but I am sure that if it is a record it isn’t a record that we are willing to celebrate.

If you are itching for spring, now would be a good time to start your tomato plants indoors. You need about 8 to 10 weeks to get the seeds to grow into a plant big enough to put into the garden. If you normally plant your tomato plants outside around Memorial Day, you would be right on course to plant those seeds indoors now. When you are planting those seeds, please be sure to use clean containers and please use what is known as a seed starting soil. This will help to prevent the start of a disease called damping off. Damping off will kill the seedlings. You usually will have this happen if you use regular potting soil to start your seeds.

Hopefully, the strong late March sunshine will quickly melt the snow. It would appear that the ground under the snow has thawed out, making it easier for the snow to turn to water and melt into the ground. Once that snow has melted and the ground has firmed up a bit, you can start to rake the lawn. If your yard is like mine, there will be plenty of small branches to pick up. You may find more debris due to the number of windy days blowing all kinds of stuff into your yard. Once the clean up is done, you may want to run a soil pH test to see how acidic all this snow has made the soil in your lawn. If the soil is acidic, you can apply lime to offset the acidity. Applying lime to offset acidity will make it easier for your lawn to utilize the lawn fertilizer that you will apply in the spring. The other thing to consider is the effect that ice-melting products may have on the growth of your lawn. If you applied ice-melting products to walkways and your driveway, some of that ice-melting product will have worked its way onto your lawn. Ice melting products can damage the roots of your grass. If you apply horticultural gypsum to those areas, it will help to neutralize the ice melting problems in the soil. Keep in mind that the strip of lawn near the road can contain a lot more ice melting products due to the slush pushed back by the snowplows clearing the road. An application of gypsum to that area of your lawn is very important.

Well that’s all for this week. I hope Mother Nature is kind to all of us. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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