May 5, 2005 at 9:02 a.m.
This is the time of the year that we start getting a lot of questions from people about lawn care. The Chisago County Master Gardeners are sponsoring a free class with Jerry Spetzman from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, to answer your lawn care questions. On May 24, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., he will be speaking at the North Branch Senior Center. This is the first of a series of free classes the Master Gardeners will be sponsoring this summer. They will be held the fourth Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., at the Senior Center in North Branch.
Now that it is early May it's time to target specific areas of the lawn where crabgrass is a problem each year. Use a pre-emergent herbicide only where it is needed. A general rule is to apply it just before the lilacs bloom. However, if you have problem areas near a building or sidewalk where the soil warms up earlier in the spring, then you should apply it to just that area a couple of weeks earlier. If you buy it separately and not as a combination with fertilizer, you won't be applying nutrients the lawn doesn't need at this time.
You really don't need to fertilize in the spring. If you skipped a late season (Oct.-Nov.) fertilizer application last fall and you really want to fertilize, do it after you've mowed the first time.
Remember, starting this past January, fertilizer containing phosphorus can't be used on lawns in Minnesota. This is an expansion of the current law restricting their use in the Twin City area.
According to Starr Carpenter, our Program Assistant, phosphorus can be used in certain instances. One instance is if a soil test indicates that it is needed or if you are establishing a new lawn. The law is somewhat confusing. Garden centers can sell phosphorous fertilizer, you just can't use it unless it is for the two instances mentioned above.
Dealing with weeds is a never ending task. We probably get more questions on creeping charlie than all other weeds put together. Should you use a herbicide? When? How often? Does Twenty Mule Team Borax control creeping charlie? Jerry Spetzman can answer these questions.
Lawn diseases just don't appear out of nowhere. Many of the organisms that cause turf diseases are already present in the soil. It is only when the grass plants are in a weakened state that they are likely to be afflicted by disease.
What are some of the diseases that affect lawns? How can you recognize them and what can be done about them? Are there grasses that are resistant to disease? Get these and many more questions answered at the class on May 24.
We are also very excited to announce that the Master Gardeners again will be offering Monday night plant clinics at the Extension Office in North Branch. This is where Master Gardeners are available from 4:30-8 p.m., Monday nights during the summer. Gardeners can either take some of their gardening concerns to the office or call the office and hopefully we can answer your questions. clinics will begin May 12 and run through September.
The asparagus plants have been distributed and we will be distributing the blueberry, strawberry and raspberry plants May 7, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Extension office. Now would be a good time to get the area ready where you are going to plant them!
Ways to access
Check out the 'Hot Topics' box in the middle of the page for current Chisago County Master Gardener news and events.
You can also click on 'Ask a Master Gardener' next to the cute little flower on the right hand side of the page. Here you can search 1000's of answers from Master Gardeners around the state. If you don't find your answer, you can submit a question online or search for University publications, Bell Museum of Natural History.
For information about snakes, skunks, raccoons or other wildlife around your yard, call the wildlife information line at (612) 624-1374 or www.bellmuseum.org.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.