It's time to get busy!
Get busy with the lawn fertilization schedule, get busy planting tomato and early vegetable gardens, get busy pruning fruit trees. In fact, it's time to prune every manner of tree. It's also time to plant trees, scalp the lawn, dethatch the lawn, aerate, mulch ... you get the point.
"But, Randy," you may be asking, "what if we get another freeze between now and, say, March 15?"
Well, since no forecasters seem to be predicting a freeze between now and April 1, I say that line of thinking is totally irrelevant. Take a look at the Weather Channel's 10-day forecast. With no obvious potential freezing weather predicted for the next week and half (much less anything even below 40), I think it's absolutely time to get busy.
So, don't get wimpy on me!
If, however, you are great at "creative avoidance*," you probably couldn't care less about what I'm preaching ... you'll find some weather prognosticator using wooly worms or something that will help you justify blowing off all the work that really needs to be done soon.
But here's my message to anyone interested in getting to work, even if we were to get a tiny bit of cold air between now and, let's say March 21:
- Lawn Fertilization Schedule - No effect! It's about soil temperature, and one night at 32 is irrelevant.
- Planting tomatoes - If the temperature drops below 40, we would need to protect with warming ideas. So at 32, we would have already done it. Therefore, an argument for creative avoidance is again irrelevant!
- Pruning fruit trees - Temps would need to be in the low 20s to have a negative effect on newly pruned fruit trees. So ... IRRELEVANT!
- Pruning big trees - This is supposed to be done December through February anyway, so now you're actually running out of time. Delay is irrelevant!
- Planting all trees - If you can transplant containerized trees in January, right after a freeze, you don't even have to ask if it's fair game today, do you?
- Scalping the lawn - Here's some relevance: if you had a freshly scalped lawn and we got a freeze, just the top ¼ inch or so might get singed. That's all!
- Time to aerate - If you guessed irrelevant again, you're right! A night in the low 30s doesn't have much effect on soil temperature.
- Time to mulch - It's never a bad time, and since we believe it's never too late to do the right thing, there's never a bad time to mulch. So don't let any cold weather stop you from doing the right thing.
I could go on and on. But you probably have more questions about "getting busy" outside at this time of year, and many of them probably have absolutely nothing to do with a potential freeze. For all those, I say "bring 'em on" this weekend live on the air or by email. In fact, I would really like to get more emails to discuss on air — many listeners tell me they are working or driving on weekend mornings and simply can't call in, but they like the idea having their questions answered on the air! So, I'm going to be carving out some segments at the top of each hour to address email questions and comments sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to use that address, and I will know the message is intended to be answered on the air.
We will broadcast GardenLine from the Cy-Fair Home & Garden Show at the Berry Center on Barker-Cypress Road this Saturday.
While we start the broadcast at 6 a.m., remember that the doors to the show don't open until 9. And, as at many previous shows, I will have about 30 minutes after the broadcast to talk with listeners at our promotions table. Plus, I'll have a one-hour seminar starting at 10:30 in one of the meeting rooms. In recent years, this show's seminar has always been a standing-room-only event, so if you want a seat, get there before 10:30. I'll also have some freebies to give away from Soil Mender and Wet & Forget, so be there to take advantage of my philanthropic nature - horticulturally speaking, that is!
Technically, this is the next-to-last home and garden show where my latest book, "1001 GardenLine Questions," will be for sale. The quicker I sell out the last printing, the sooner I can move forward with book number four. So, you know the deal ... the book is cheaper at home and garden shows than anywhere else for the rest of the spring and summer.
Several of our advertising partners will also be at this show, so you'll have a chance to talk to one-on-one with experts from the likes of Root Wall Pro, RCW Nurseries, Allied Outdoor Solutions, and Mr. Sprinkler Repair.
Photo: Spring Flowers by Anita Martinz via Flickr