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April 24, 2013
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Spring brings many garden chores

I saw a double rainbow this morning, the first day of spring. What a nice way to start a new season. The forsythia and daffodils are blooming. Soon will be lilac time. Of course, garden chores accelerate with the coming of spring, but that can’t dampen my spirit. I love this time of year, especially the changeable weather. You never know what will happen next.

I turned on all the sprinklers last weekend to deep soak my yard. I hand-watered everything that isn’t watered with my irrigation system. As I stood there watering, I began to think of all the tasks I need to accomplish. I want to “trim” the edges of my lawn with a weed killer. This will prevent the grass from growing into my shrub and flowerbeds. I have already started weeding other spots, while the seedlings are small and easy to pull out. However, weeding is a never-ending chore.

There is a lot of cleanup to do with downed branches and twigs of the poplars, leaves blown into deep stacks in the corners of the fence and the dead leaves on the clumps of red hot poker plants. I have to cut back my Shasta daisies too.

I hired a certified arborist to prune my old apple trees and remove a dead pine, but I will still need to prune all the water sprouts out of the crabapples. My lawn is looking ragged. Mowing it isn’t a bad idea, even though it isn’t growing yet, to make it look tidier. It’s almost time to fertilize. I had better remind my husband to sharpen the blades and tune up the mowers. Aerating would be a good idea too.

I want to put compost in my garden, turn the soil over and plant peas and greens. I should trap and kill that first ground squirrel I saw yesterday, before he populates the entire neighborhood with his pesky progeny that eat my veggies and flowers.

Here are some things I don’t need to do yet. I don’t have to prune the roses; that happens after April 15. Forsythia, lilacs and other spring bloomers get pruned after they bloom, not now. It is still a bit early to start tomatoes and other cold sensitive plants indoors, maybe when it’s six weeks before putting them outside.

Spring is here and so are landscaping chores. It feels great, doesn’t it?

JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and may be reached at or 887-2252.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 26, 2013 11:42AM Published May 8, 2013 09:27AM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.