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Fri May 10, 2013
Gardeners Rejoice! This Cool Weather Is Great for Grass
So it felt like Spring for a while there, didn’t it? Our run of nice, warm weather was a welcome one, especially on the heels of what had been a very cool, very wet start to the season.
The gardeners among us may have been tempted by the reprieve in the deluge to go out and get some planting and pruning done. But was that a wise move? And what has this soggy season meant to our lawns?
Lake Effect gardening contributor Melinda Myers says don't worry.
“Now is a great time to be over-seeding, seeding those bare spots, and unfortunately some people are redoing their lawn totally after last year’s drought,” Myers says. “So the cooler temperatures and moisture are great for the rain, bad for the mowing, but good for the rain.”
Myers says that the cool weather has been great for the grass, but it has delayed germination. She recommends not using crab grass pre-emergent if you are thinking about beginning a seeding regimen now. If your lawn is thin and bare, then seed away.
“Growing your grass longer is excellent because it encourages good deep root growth and you will have a healthier, more pest- and weed-resistant grass,” Myers says. “You’re going to be cutting the same amount of time if you mow properly, and that is removing no more than a third of the top growth.”
A helpful hint that Myers gives is to use a corn gluten meal regimen once in the spring and once in the fall to cut down the weeds in your yard. She found that it cuts out approximately 80% of the weed growth once she completes a corn gluten regimen in a year.
Myers says the cool weather is also slowing down the growth of weeds and mushrooms. When the temperatures rise, plants and weeds will begin popping up. Plants need warm air and warm soil, according to Myers. Temperatures affect when plants will bloom, but this year’s cooler spring will make the plant blooms last longer.
Myers is the author of numerous books, including Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin. She’s also host of "Melinda’s Garden Moments" on television. She'll be hosting an upcoming series of garden walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens.