Saturday, June 19, 2021


Mesonet at SD State Eagle Butte realtime weather web widget

Home and Garden Tips


Greetings everyone. I hope everyone is well and ready for what has been an elusive growing season. In some areas we had warmer weather followed by snow fall again this past week.

Is it too early to plant?

I remember a garden season not long ago (I believe it was 2016 or 2017.) when I planted the 5-acre garden at the teen center. We believed spring was here to stay! Only to have a light frost on May 11 followed by a tornado or straight-line storm that stripped everything out of the ground.

Luckily our season was salvaged due to some amazing supporters and Jolly Lane Green Houses of Rapid City. For our Midwest readers I still recommend keeping your starts in the greenhouse or inside until May 18, understanding that it may be as late as June 1 before you can put starts in their rows. Even with a late start I believe we grew over 30,000 pounds of food that year, and it was a bad year.

Out in the northwestern coastal region the season is well underway. The next battle for these folks is to get rid of the rest of the moss in their lawns with organic or chemical applications before it gets too warm to do so. I still believe organic is better, but I can also see that this year both options may be needed in some situations. The only moss-killing product I recommend is iron sulfate; and only when applied at the proper rates. After one application organic solutions should finish the job.

Coffee grounds work well for moss control and feeds your lawn as well. Remember that a garden or lawn can’t be certified organic unless everything put on it comes from organic sources. As an example, if you put coffee grounds down for moss control and the coffee is not certified organic, then your lawn is not 100% organic — but it is very close.

Roof Maintenance

No matter where you live, moss on the roof and algae in gutters may be an issue.

To remove moss from composite roofs, scrape it lightly but do not pressure wash. Wood shingles and steel roofs can be pressure washed. Other roofing products have built-in ways to keep moss at bay. Clay tiles are the exception.

If there is moss that can’t be removed, it needs to be killed. The way to do this is to have zinc strips installed. This will keep it at bay and prevent new growth. This should be done by a roofing professional only. The zinc strips, when a second and third row are applied, it will keep the slime and algae out of your gutters. If you find your gutters are never completely empty, you need to adjust the slope to the downspout or clean them 3 times per year or more. Once the gutters dry, spray-on products like Flex Seal will fix small leaks.

If you have ice dam damage, seek out a licensed contractor for help. This past winter ice dams were a huge issue during the final big thaw. Ice dams can pull gutters off and lift shingles up, leaving gaps for spring rains to enter.

To do your own yard work or hire a gardener.

A licensed gardener will not only keep your lawn cut, over time they will get your beds clean and keep them that way. Your lawn and ornamental plants will be fed on a schedule. If you are selling your home, this is a must. With the added work you have in staging, storing, packing and repair work, this is a sure way to guarantee great curb appeal. Most gardeners in the midwest offer 7-month weekly service contracts, with snow removal included as needed. They will also winterize your sprinkler system and get it ready in the spring. Contract services vary depending on the vendor. I recommend S&S Landscape in the Pacific Northwest and Cotters Cutting for larger mid-Dakota locations.

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