Saturday, February 04, 2023

Guest Column: Time to start thinking about what to plant

by Dan Williams & Lincoln County Weed District
| March 12, 2009 12:00 AM

Spring must be close! All the signs are there, except the recent snow that fell.

Some of the spring birds are back, I walked into the house with mud on my boots and got in trouble, the seed catalogs are in the mail and the local greenhouses are planting your favorite flowers. March is here and soon the snow will be just a memory and the tulips will be blooming.

It’s time to think about what you are going to plant and to make your home look good and be the most beautiful home on the block.

Let’s start with the grass. Grass keeps the soil in place, not tracking through the house or floating around as dust when it dries out. It helps keep your house cool in the summer and keep the weeds from moving in. To get started you need to kill the weeds that are already there – knapweed, oxeye daisy, hawkweed, dandelion and who knows what else is growing in the lawn.

A good broad leaf herbicide should do the trick unless you are starting over and want to start from scratch, and then try Roundup.

Next is to plant a quality lawn grass and fertilize it. You will need to replace the weeds you just killed and give the lawn something to eat. Water is good at this point, keep it green and it will look great by summer.

Let’s work on those flowerbeds next. For most flower beds you want good drainage, so clay soils are not the best but if that’s all you have you can add to it to make it work. Let’s kill the weeds and grass now so it will be easier this summer.

A Roundup-like herbicide kills plants that are actively growing and that you treat. So, you can treat your flowerbeds one day and plant the next and you won’t kill the plants that you are planting.

Next is to plant your favorite flowers. Be careful of what you plant. You can buy almost anything and why pay for weeds? Be careful with the wildflower mixes and don’t buy an invasive shrub like salt cedar or scotch broom.

Well, you are on your way. It takes some time and not too much money and soon you will have a beautiful yard. Take time to pull the weeds often, it’s easier to pull a little each week then to try all of it at once.

If you need answers call your Weed District or the MSU Extension, we will be glad to help.

(Dan Williams is supervisor for the Lincoln County Weed District).