08 Apr Well it’s April…
Well it’s April 7th and we are finally expecting some long awaited great weather here in the Twin Cities. For Minneapolis Landscaping enthusiasts who have been cooped up for so long, its temping to get out into the lawn and landscaping to start on this year ambitions, but what can we do now? Unfortunately, not much quite yet.
Raking? Not yet. With the soil supersaturated and our lawn not actively growing yet, raking can be very hard on a vulnerable lawn often times doing more harm than good, by raking up and removing or damaging healthy living grass not tightly held by the wet soggy soil. So let things warm up and dry out a bit more before heading outside with a rake.
Should you apply Crabgrass pre-emergent? Not yet. Most crabgrass pre-emergent active ingredients last about 6-9 weeks on the soil surface. Since crabgrass will not germinate until soil temps are consistently 55 degrees or above, you run the risk of applying too early and wasting your application. The spring rains will rinse away your pre-emergent and the 6-8 weeks of pre-emergent coverage will be over, right before the crabgrass starts germinating.
How about gardening, too early? Yes a no. Feel free to start cleaning up the garden a little. Last year’s dead perennial plant material can be pruned off and leaves can be cleaned up. You can cut perennials right down to the ground to get last year’s growth out of the way, perennials will grow all new leaves and stems each year so don’t worry and hurting the plant as the material you’re removing is already dead. But in terms of making major changes to your garden or landscaping, it’s best to wait. For existing landscaping and gardens, it’s important to give the plants a chance to come out of dormancy and start growing again. See what you have that can be re-used or split before pulling it out of the ground. Often times plants that look dead, just haven’t started growing yet, so remember you can prune off dead plant material, but don’t pull the entire plant out of the ground. Because you may be pulling out a desirable plant that only looks dead, but just hasn’t started growing yet this season.