Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Eagle Butte

Garden Tips of the week

Floyd Braun

Greetings everyone, thanks for your continued following. I am so happy that spring is here! While it’s still too early for some things there is plenty of work to do. This week I will go over some lawn tips as well we garden tips.

There is a long-standing belief that a beautiful lawn is expensive and requires the use of a lot of chemicals that can harm kids, pets and humans. Fortunately, even in our relatively short growing season here in South Dakota, this is not true as long as your idea of a nice lawn is an environmentally-friendly lawn. Here are some tips to achieve such a lawn:

1. Cut your lawn down now to your desired height. The best height for you will help keep your lawn green, healthy, and will result in a desirable area for your to spend time in. Keep the mower height at 2.5 inches to 3 inches in height. If you cut your lawn shorter, it will become stressed and will require a lot of water and chemicals to keep the weeds out.

2. Cut your lawn every 7 to 10 days. If you let it grow higher, it will begin to go to seed. Once your lawn goes to seed, it will transfer more energy into going dormant than continuing to grow. A healthy lawn requires cutting all season.

3. If your lawn is thin and has lots weeds, do not worry all is not lost. After your first cut, if you do these things in a year your lawn will be much nicer.

Using a small garden trawl, pull out the largest of the weeds and replace it with grass seed and a mixture of garden soil. I prefer to just have a 5 gallon bucket mixed with 3 gallons soil to 1 gallon seed. Spread it with your hands about a quarter inch thick in the bare spot where the weed was, you can also patch bare spots this way.

Fertilize your lawn– like people, plants need to eat the right things at the right time. May and June are great for spring and summer feeding. In May, look for a 15-10-10 fertilizer but without weed killer such as 2-4-D.

What do those three numbers represent?

“15” is nitrogen that keeps the grass leaf green and healthy looking.

“10” is phosphorous, a key element in promoting a strong root system.

“10” is potassium and it helps with the translocation of food as well as healthy crowns.

Garden tips

Now that the threat of deep freezes are past, now is a great time to lay out your watering system.

For the garden I prefer to use a drip system. This consists of a main line, a pressure reducer, more main lines to your garden beds and drip tape in your rows.

A basic drip system off of a faucet will water your garden over an 8 to 12 hour period only delivering water where you have a plant. This way you are reducing your water usage and only watering your desired plants. Depending on rainfall, I normally water 3 days per week such as Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Your drip lines will lay on top of your prepared rows.

Lay out your garden plan as to placing your row markers and fluff/till your rows so your beds are ready to be planted.

Lay out your walking paths and place your material to reduce mud on you. I suggest using straw or wood chips.

Some gardeners like to use newspaper as a recyclable weed barrier under their wood chips.

Screen out large particles from your mulch using a screen that fits over your garden cart so you are filling your cart and screening at the same time. Now is a great your prepared beds.