lawn in the garden wdev vermont radio talk

Lawn Care, Second Season, and Mulch (In the Garden 2018 Episode 10)

Original Air Date: July 7, 2018 

Lawn Care

There was a question last week about lawns, so I thought I would run through lawn basics.  The first thing is to test your soil.  It probably is on the acid side and needs lime but the test will answer that question.  Make sure to test a few locations.  Then over seed your lawn in the spring.  Some of the grass will die back over the winter and reseeding will both add to the green look but will help to crowd out other plants, aka weeds!

Lawn are just like gardens in that they need added organic matter.  This can be done by hand broadcasting compost, I like the dehydrated compost manure because it is both dry and easy to spread as well as being high in nitrogen.  Next try not cut your lawn too short.  The recommended length is 3” so try for that and you’ll have a greener healthier lawn, that is less likely to turn brown in August.  The only way I know to keep out the weeks like dandelions and pigweed is to just hand pull them.  I just don’t see that the use of herbicides that eventually make their way into out streams and lakes as a good idea.  That a green lawn is worth the price.

Second Season To Do List

  1. Thin the apple trees to one apple every 6 to eight inches, water and fertilize.
  2. Hill the potatoes 
  3. Thin the carrots to one ever 3 inches and, beets to 3 or 4 inch depending on variety (eat the beet greens) and thin any seeds that you have seeded very closely.  It is important to thin so the tender young plants don’ get leggy! 
  4. Tie tomatoes to stake or trellis and pinch suckers, trim bottom leaves. 
  5. Tie up cucumbers to trellis 
  6. Stake and tie up peppers and eggplant if they a leaning at all the weight of the fruits with a heavy rain can topple them over like peonies 
  7. Plant more lettuces,  
  8. Cut your garlic scapes and use them for pesto, soup stock, grill them with a little oil salt and pepper 
  9. Setup Japanese beetle traps, they will be here soooooon! 
  10. Water and feed asparagus and rhubarb to prepare them for next year’s harvest 
  11. Plant your second season crops 
  12. Spray the Cole family crops with BT or Spinosad, they are coming… 
  13. Water your berries.  Raspberries, Blueberries.  There is a tendency to overlook the need to water fruiting bushes just because they are perennials.  But they will benefit for this kind care, and so will you! 

Second Season

My wife and I like Kimchi (if you don’t know what that is, it is like an Asian sauerkraut), we like it a lot!  So this time of year we plant Chinese Cabbage and Daikon Radish under covers (a must) and in a few weeks we will plant Tat Soi because I grows so fast if I plant it now it will be overgrown when I want it for the Kimchi.  Also, you can have a second planting of Kale, Carrots and the Summer lettuces. If you can find the onion bulbs you can plant a second planting for fresh eating Scallions.  To really get the most from your garden plot continue to plant a replant though out the season. 

Mulch

Mulch can help in this hot summer we have.   

But choosing the right kind of mulch is very important.  For instance if you use hay, even so called ‘mulch hay’ it can be loaded with seeds of very variety so only use straw for a mulch in your garden or you can use shredded paper, peat moss.  If you have used black plastic or a fiberglass product that is OK but in the heat of summer it might actually get too hot so for the cool weather crops consider a mulch of straw to keep things cool.   

NEVER TOO LATE TO START A GARDEN.