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Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year’s perfect time to set gardening goals

December 29, 2005

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3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Happy New Year!

With the new year comes a new beginning, a chance to start over, try something new or different. As you make plans for the next 12 months, try setting gardening goals in addition to making New Year's resolutions. Goals can be worked on throughout the year and checked off as they're accomplished. Once completed, reward yourself with a small celebration. With this in mind, here are some suggested goals for 2006:

10. I will not apply white grub killer to the lawn to control moles. Although grubs are a preferred food source for these underground monsters, they are only one source and moles will continue to search for other food if grubs are controlled.

9. I will not apply lime to my yard, garden or flower bed unless a soil test shows I need to. Soils in Douglas County have naturally high pH. Applying lime when it is not need only creates problems.

8. I will apply pre-emergent herbicide in April, the same time redbud trees and lilacs are in full bloom. Crabgrass prevention starts long before weeds are visible.

7. I will not overseed my lawn with Kentucky 31 fescue. Although a tough, drought-tolerant turfgrass, it is better suited for large acreage and pastures. Choose a turf-type tall fescue instead.

6. I will raise the mowing height on the new lawn mower I got for Christmas. Mowing grass too short can cause problems. Generally speaking, the higher grass is mowed, the less weeds will be present and the more drought-tolerant the lawn will be.

5. I will not spray every bug I find in the landscape. Only one-tenth of one percent of the bugs in the landscape can cause harm. Most bugs are simply there for no ill reason.

4. I will plant my trees and shrubs at the proper depth. Plants that are planted too deeply usually die within two years of establishment. To prevent this, dig the hole only as deep as the root ball and do not add soil amendments to the backfill.

3. I will plant an extra row of tomatoes, cucumbers or other delicious vegetables so I can share them with my friends and neighbors.

2. I will begin to recycle my organic material by building a compost pile.

1. I will learn more about gardening and give back to the great community in which I live. I will participate in the Extension Master Gardener training program. Applications are now available for the 2006 class.

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