NEWS FROM SOIL SERVICE- Beautiful weather means spring is almost here!
FIRST BATCH OF FLOWERS ARE IN!!!!
Garden Center Monday 9am – 5pm Sunday 10am-5pm
Nursery Monday 9am – 5pm Sunday Closed
This time of year it’s easy to get in a big hurry putting in plants, and we end up working soils that are either too wet or dry. Doing this is not a good thing. Digging in overly wet or dry soils ruins soil structure that takes years to recover. If the soil is too dry simply wait for rain or hand water a day or two before digging. If too wet, wait a few days to let it dry some before grabbing the shovel. After you add soil amendments and do the rough digging, the Garden Weasel is a fantastic tool to break up larger dirt clods and finish grade the bed. Simply go back and forth with The Weasel until it’s broken up to your satisfaction.
We all know our heavy clay soils easily compact, which squeezes out oxygen that plant roots need to thrive. Soil amendments are widely used in KC to improve soil tilth and oxygen levels. Cotton burr compost is a very good soil amendment for our clay soils; but not the only one. Another amendment is HAPPY FROG SOIL MIX. This increasingly popular amendment comes in a 3 cubic foot bale and includes slow release organic plant nutrients and beneficial mycorrhizae fungi (more on mycorrhizae in this newsletter). Happy Frog is an especially good choice for new or raised beds, neglected gardens, or ground that has been waterlogged or compacted by construction equipment.
Mycorrhizae (my-co-rye’-za) are literally one of the most important fungi in the world. Around the mid 1990’s the plant care industry learned how to make products with this naturally occurring fungus that is now routinely used by the landscape/nursery and forestry industry. Every year we have more and more customers who understand its benefits and use it at planting. If you are new to our newsletters or not yet familiar with these amazing organisms, here’s a short version of the mycorrhizae story
TRANSPLANTS NEED ROOT GROWTH HELP
When a plant is taken out of a container or dug up and moved, physical handling causes microscopic root hairs to slough off, which leads to transplant shock and slower recovery after moving. Using a root stimulant at planting means less transplant babysitting.
WHY WE USE ROOT STIMULANTS
A natural hormone, Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) initiates new root hair growth that minimizes transplant shock and gets plants off to a happy, healthy start. Routinely used by professional landscape contractors, Ferti-lome Root Stimulator contains this hormone and we highly recommend using it at planting and for the first 2-3 waterings. Simply add 3 ½ tablespoons of Root Stimulator to a gallon of water and water normally.
TIME TO PRUNE ROSES
We get a lot of calls this time of year from customers asking about pruning roses. Please see the enclosed information from Kansas State that explains how and when to prune.
Chickweed and henbit are winter annuals that germinate in the fall and are hard to see until now when their
growth takes off. Wild onions and garlic are also coming up. They all grow early and fast in spring before we get in “control the weed mode”. The bad news is this weed train has left the station if you wait until late spring or early summer to control them. The good news is they can all be controlled now when they are small using Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone for your lawn. Your choice in the garden is either hand digging or using glyphosate (Ferti-lome Killz-all). Please come see us sooner vs. later for the best way to control these and other troublesome weeds.
LAWN AND GARDEN PRE-EMERGENT WEED CONTROL
If you use our Soil Service Lawn Care program, this is a reminder that it’s time to apply STEP 1 for a
light nutrient feed with crabgrass pre-emergent weed control. If you are not on our program but need help with your lawn, please come see us now to learn about our “do-it-yourselfer” and $$$ saving
programs. They’re really quite simple, fun and personally rewarding when you have a great lawn that YOU made happen!
Most everyone is familiar with Preen for flower beds. It’s an excellent product and the label has recently expanded to include many garden veggies. We also have Hi-Yield Dimension that has an expanded use label. Unlike Preen, Dimension can wait up to a week to be worked in by lightly raking or rainfall. So if hand weeding is not your thing, come see us for the right product for your needs.
You may hear that you should mow your fescue or bluegrass lawn as short as possible for the first spring mowing. This is not good advice.
DO NOT SCALP FESCUE OR BLUEGRASS LAWNS IN EARLY SPRING
Some people will tell you to set your mower as low as you can for the first fescue or bluegrass spring
mowing. This misguided reasoning is that it removes brown leaves and helps the soil warm more quickly resulting in quicker greenup. First off, the grass does not green up more quickly. The brown leaves are
just hiding green leaves below so removing those leaves is strictly cosmetic. Some years the brown is on the leaf tips so lowering the mowing height by one notch is OK assuming the normal and correct
mowing height is 3-4 inches. This year though, the leaves are brown almost to the soil line so just leave them alone and the lawn will gradually and naturally green up over time. Second and most
importantly, scalping the lawn does not appreciably warm the soil but does open it up to more weeds because there is less cover to compete against germinating weed seeds. Also, mowing too short a little too
late causes a hormonal effect on the grass. The end result is season long stress and increased susceptibility to heat/drought and diseases problems. SO- DON’T SCALP FESCUE/BLUEGRASS LAWNS IN SPRING!!!!!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS
COME SEE US AND LET’S KEEP GROWING!
Monday – Saturday: 9am-5pm
Monday – Saturday: 9am-5pm