I’M HOPING THAT our yards will have a chance to dry out soon. As it is I think I’d do more damage by walking around pruning things with the ground so squishy. We had more rain this past January than average and February has started out as a soggy one too. Walking around or pushing carts around the yard can do some damage to our lawns that take a while to recover. Footprints from us working in our yards, our dogs making paths, wheelbarrow’s tracks and general activity can make bumps and clay bare spots that we will wish we had been a little more careful later in the spring when the green up begins. Those places are usu- ally where weeds find their way into our lawns.
All the rain causes our topsoil to wash downhill to accumulate wherever it lands. It’s in these places that weeds usually elbow themselves in. If you can find a dry day to do it I would recommend putting out a pre-emergence all over your lawn and in all of your beds as long as you won’t be planting seeds or bulbs there. The pre-emerge will prevent seeds and bulbs from germinating making the war on weeds much more easily fought. Now is a great time to apply the pre-emerge since all these new seeds have been introduced to your yard from all the rain pushing water and soil and seeds from your neighbor’s yard or even that wooded lot next to you.
The plant beds will have weed seeds trying to sneak in as well. I won’t mulch anything until we begin to dry out in April, I would rather see the soil be without cover over it for these wet months. Mulch is there to keep the soil moist during the hot months, mulch is there also to keep the weed seeds from germinating. I like to put the weed preventer out while the soil is exposed and the granules can fall on to the exposed, wet soil so it can begin its process of dissipating into the areas where the seeds are hiding. To have formed a barrier that seeds cannot germinate and then to follow up a month or so later with a thick covering of fresh mulch should cut way down on weed work.
In the lawn you’ll have to rely on a healthy stand of turf to come back when we begin to get temperatures in the 60s at night consecutively to muscle the weeds out. With the help of the pre-emerge and some fertilizer when the grass is actively growing, after you’ve mowed once, you should be able to get back on top.
This is the time of year when calendars come in very handy to remember all the tricks up our sleeves that will help our yards to recoup from the beating we are taking this winter. You can take your planner to your favorite garden center and ask someone you trust to walk you through the important dates to remember. Those things, when done in advance, will make gardening so much easier. When practicing preventative measures, fertilizing, pruning, mowing, planting, thinning out, mulching and vegetable gardening timing is everything. There’s not a garden center in town that wouldn’t love an opportunity to help you with getting the dates down however you keep records.
Once you have these dates down you have them forever. The dates of most of these things won't change. When you get a full year's gardening have-tos on a calendar you will begin to see the progression of how these things work and how impor- tant the timing is. Some of our customers come in to get their calendar ready for the year and go ahead and buy the things necessary so when it pops up on their calendar they don’t have to scramble to find the product and they are much less apt to miss the window of time the product or methods works best. After a few years of using your calendar it becomes like clockwork.
It always helps to refer to your calendar because you’ve probably added notes to it. You may have noted the results that you got, how much it costs, and other things that you noticed while you were out there.
ANOTHER WAY TO KEEP yourself updated on the next thing that needs to be happening in your yard is to join a garden club. At garden club meetings you will be with people who are thinking about the same thing you are thinking when it comes to gardening. Joining a gar- den club is a great way to meet people in your neighborhood or in your town who have the passion. There will be all levels of garden gurus, from the absolute novice who wants to learn from the old timers to the folks who are very generous with the information they’ve collected over their years of trials and tribulations in their gardening lives.
Yesterday we hosted around 40 people from the Ridgeland Garden Club. We provided a place for them to set up their food table, enough chairs for everyone to sit and chat and to listen to the speakers we provide to talk informally about garden topics. We had one of our very knowledgeable staff members and a guest, Jerry Palmer, with presentations having to do with winter appropriate subjects such as rose care and preparing for spring. When the club meeting was over most of the folks stayed and chatted and gathered all the information that they could. We had a big sale going on so they mopped up on some bargains.
We appreciate that people trust us to answer their questions and to get them moving in the right direction during this crucial time of year. We host a garden club meeting pretty frequently throughout the year because we love being the place where gardeners congregate and give us a moment to help them with their questions while we have a captive audience. We don’t charge anything for this service so please if you’d like to give it a try at our place just give us a call or come by so we can find an opening for your group. It doesn’t have to be a garden club, it can be a company event or any group of people who would like a place to meet and have a garden related topic demonstrated for them.
We have sip and shop evening events about once a month. At these free events we will usually have a guest garden speaker to entertain along with things to sip on and things to shop for. These nights are great fun. They are a great time to relax and mix with our crew and other folks. People bring their dogs, their kids, their neighbors, girls’ night out and chill with us and poke around the place. You can keep up with our fun events by checking our social media news or if you’re not into that sort of thing you can call up and we will lay out our party plans so you won’t miss out. Getting together with other gardeners and introducing yourself to each other and our staff just makes it more fun to come up there to shop. You’ll know us by name and you’ll likely run into some of your new friends while you are there. This is our idea of a good time and it strengthens our community which we all need more than ever right now.
My and Mimi's dream is to be all that we can be for this wonderful community that our business plays a part of. We love and appreciate the community that has trusted us for so long and supported our business. We want to give back by offering our place as the place to congregate and relax and have fun while we all toil in our gardens at our homes for whatever reasons. At least you will know you’re not the only plant nut in town.