Let lawns soak in warmer temps

The Ryan family groundhog, Big Shanty Bob.

The previous days gave us a little taste of spring. I intended to get outside, find a sunny spot and enjoy a few days of 50 degree weather.

Gardeners often use days like this to tidy up the garden, pick up sticks and accomplish general early spring maintenance.

Don’t! Our lawns are in a very fragile state right now. Walking across the wet turf not to mention dragging the garden cart behind you will damage that beautiful lawn of which you are dreaming.

The soil in our flower beds is made up of little channels that carry water and nutrients to our plants. As wet as the soil is now, walking in the garden will collapse these life giving little canals that our plants need.

Last but not least are the pollinators that are still hibernating in that piece of bark that came down last fall or the hollow stalk of a flower from last summer. We need these pollinators to give us our succulent tomatoes, corn and other vegetables. We need these pollinators for that glorious perennial show in July. Do not disturb.

What to do? Take a walk but stick to the pavement. Find a sunny spot while you make a list of garden supplies you need from the garden center. Sweep the garage or potting shed while you start a pile of castoffs for spring cleanup.

Check with the high school guidance counselor. Pick up the Warren Garden Club college scholarship application and supervise that high-school student in the family to complete it.

There will be lots of winter still to come. By all means get outside and enjoy that warmer weather. Just stay off the lawn and out of the garden.

Rebecca Norton Ryan is a Penn State Extension Master Gardener and member of the Warren Garden Club.


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