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Q & A with Our Experts

Q.After an unexpected warm spell this winter, my daffodils began to come up way too soon. It has gotten cold again. Should I spread dirt or mulch over them to protect them?

A.No. Do not cover the green bulb shoots that have come up early. The bulb will sense the cold and further growth will stop. The exposed shoots will harden up against the cold and may show some slight browning at the tips.

Q.When should I start planning my summer vegetable garden and what things should I consider in the planning?

A.Start planning in January or February to allow enough time for gathering information for when to schedule seed starting and garden bed preparation. By this time, you should know what kinds of vegetables you want to grow and how much and when you want to harvest them. Use this information to establish a timeline to know what important gardening tasks need to be done and when to start and complete them.
Mapping out your critical gardening tasks will help you plan what resources you will need, such as tools, soil amendments, fertilizer, etc. This will help you know the costs associated with installing and maintaining the gardens and the amount of time you’ll need to accomplish these tasks.

Q.When do I need to address weed problems in the spring?

A.March is the important month to address lawn weed prevention in the spring. This is because of the importance of applying preemergent herbicides (weed preventers) when they can work most effectively. Weed preventers must be applied and watered into the surface of the lawn soil in March before these weed seeds germinate sometime in April. The weed preventer chemical prevents penetration of the seedling weed shoot through that top soil layer. This treated area stands between seedlings and the sunlight on the other side. So to survive, they need contact with the sunlight to make food for themselves. Soon the seedlings starve underground when the limited amount of food provided by the seed finally runs out.

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