Some Outside Chores That Need to Be Taken Care Of…

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder

When I look around my yard, it seems the chores are multiplying as the weather warms up. Some chores can wait, but there are others that need to be taken care of pretty quickly. Timing is everything, including gardening, so here are a few chores that need to be taken care of soon.

If you have had problems with crabgrass, now is the time to put out your preventer. A rule of thumb for crabgrass preventers is to put them out when dogwoods start to bloom. Right now, dogwoods are blooming in Wilkes County so you have a very short period of time to get out the preventer before crabgrass seeds begin to germinate.

I have gotten calls recently about applying weed and feed products. Actually, we are a little late to be putting out fertilizer on our lawns since it should be done in March. However, numerous preventive weed killers are available that do not include the fertilizer component.

 Now may be the time to start your summer vegetable garden. The warm weather has heated up the soil and the long range forecast is for temperatures to stay well above freezing. Plants can be covered for frost protection if we do get colder conditions later in the month. Just realize you may be taking a risk if you put your plants out now.

 If you are not ready to plant but have started some transplants indoors, now is the time to start hardening them off. “Hardening” transplants is the process of slowly exposing transplants to outside weather. Taking the plants outside for a few hours a day and slowly increasing the time the plants are exposed provides the “hardening” process. Otherwise, taking plants directly from the greenhouse or indoors to the field may be more of a shock than the plants can stand.

The wet weather should be delaying your tilling. By tilling now, when the soil is wet, you can do more damage by forming clods and possible hard pans. Wait until you have a couple of days of warm, sunny weather before tilling the garden.