Spring garden and lawn tips offered

As temperatures are finally starting to show signs of spring, more area residents are beginning to spend
time outdoors and getting their lawn and gardens ready.
According to Craig Everett, horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension, there are many things to
be done. While some are obvious, many other things are often overlooked.
Everett, who also serves as the lead instructor for the master gardener classes, says a common practice
of rolling the lawn is not good for your yard.
"Many people routinely roll their lawn each year. That compacts the soil and causes more issues for
root penetration," Everett said. "It really makes it more difficult for the grass. It’s better
if you don’t roll it at all."
He indicated he understands people like to level their ground; however the natural process of freezing
and thawing process allows for the spring rains to penetrate the soil better.
"Putting the
roller across the yard works against Mother Nature. Everything nature has done for you has been destroyed
in a half hour’s time," he said.
He suggests to just let the rains and the natural processes level out the yard over time.
Similarly, Everett suggests that tilling the soil may not be ideal, depending on the condition and what
is going on with the soil.
"Sometimes tilling the soil can cause more damage than it does good," Everett said.
Lawn mowers
Spring is also the perfect time to do some routine maintenance on your lawn mower, roto tiller, or other
mechanical equipment.
Lawn mowers, much like your vehicle, should go through some preventative maintenance and checks before
being pressed into service.
The oil should be changed, air filter cleaned, and spark plug replaced as necessary. In addition, check
the blades as they will likely need to be sharpened to help give you a crisp clean cut.
Similar maintenance may need to be done on other equipment used in your lawn or garden.
Garden gloves
Most gardeners use gloves. Are your old gloves worn or have some holes? You may need to replace them
before you begin serious work outdoors.
Everett also reminds gardeners to check the gloves stored on their shelves for creatures which may have
found a new home over the winter.
"A brown recluse spider can sometimes take up residence in cotton gloves," he said. "Make
sure you carefully turn them inside out to avoid being bitten by any creatures.
Other tools
Everett also recommends taking inventory and inspection of all your tools.
Does your wheelbarrow need air in the tire? Sometimes it will go flat over the winter. That also goes for
the lawn mower tires or other equipment.
Clean your shovels, spades or other tools. While that should have been done in the fall, it is also
important to clean off all the winter dust which may have accumulated. The shovels and spades may also
need to be sharpened to help dig into the soils as needed.
According to Everett, your shears should be checked and add a drop of oil on the spring or other
mechanisms to assure you have a good cutting action.
There are numerous other routine maintenance which can be done on most of the lawn and garden equipment
and supplies.
Supplies
Speaking of supplies, what have you got on hand? What do you need? Is there a new tool waiting to be
added to your arsenal?
Check to see if there is something you need to buy, which includes having your cages ready to protect
early plantings of lettuce and other tender vegetables from those pesky rabbits.
Make a list and get to your favorite garden center to get what you need before you get out in your lawn
and garden.
(Please feel to submit any questions for master gardeners, which we can feature on this page in upcoming
weeks. Questions can be sent to [email protected] )