Goodman: 2nd annual tree care workshop scheduled
The second annual Spring Tree Care Workshop will be held Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Rugby Armory. Trees add so much to our landscape and quality of life. To keep them healthy and an attractive part of our landscape they need annual maintenance.
Foresters Joel Nichols and Lezlee Johnson will discuss common tree diseases, how to prevent them and what to do when you spot them. In addition they will discuss proper tree planting and care. Weather permitting; there will also be an opportunity for participants to do some outside, hands-on learning at the Pierce County Soil Conservation District Arboretum where Foresters, Joel and Lezlee, will demonstrate how, where, and when to prune fruit and shade trees. The workshop will also include a tour of the Pierce County Soil Conservation District’s tree storage facilities located at the Arboretum. Members of the Pierce County Soil Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and NDSU Extension Service will also be available to answer questions.
The 2nd Annual Spring Tree Care Workshop is free and open to the public. To help us plan, please RSVP by Monday, April 21 by calling the Pierce County SCD at 776-2207 or the Pierce County Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5.
Top vegetable varieties for North Dakota
A team of over 500 gardeners across our state have evaluated hundreds of vegetable varieties over the past five years. The team rated the varieties for germination, vigor, earliness, yield and taste. A complete listing of recommended varieties for 2014, as well as annual reports and summaries since 2009 are available at www.dakotagardener.com/trials/.
North Dakota State University is looking for families to test promising vegetable, herb and flower varieties in their gardens. The goal is to identify the best varieties for gardeners in North Dakota.
Everyone is welcome to join the team. You will be introduced to new varieties, sharpen your skills in science, and grow healthy vegetables. You will be doing a valuable service to families in our state and it is a fun project for the entire family.
For more information on becoming involved in the North Dakota vegetable varieties evaluation project, contact Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University by phone: (701) 221-6865 or E-mail: Tom.Kalb@ndsu.edu
Spring lawn care
With all the other spring chores needing to be done, lawn care sometimes takes a back seat in priority. In some ways this is good because initiating lawn care too early is often the source of problems later in the season. This is especially true if the lawn needs compaction relief or dethatching. The two operations to correct these problems aeration and power raking are best done in the fall. However, if these problems are serious enough to prevent turf grass cultural practices from being effective, then carrying out either or both operations in the spring, once the grass has begun active growth, usually early May, is acceptable.
Thatch only becomes a problem when it accumulates in excess beyond inch in thickness. Thick thatch may be soft and springy to walk on, but it predisposes the lawn to poor water, fertilizer and pesticide utilization, makes it vulnerable to drought, and the roots do not penetrate deeply (if at all!) into the soil below. Other problems, such as diseases and scalping when mowing, eventually will prompt the homeowner to do something about it.
Dethatching should be done when the soil is moist. You usually can rent a machine for this purpose. Stay away from lawn mower attachments that advertise dethatching capabilities as they are often destructive to the lawn and mower. Usually fertilizer, and sometimes crabgrass control or reseeding, is carried out after the dethatching is completed.
Thatch or not, most lawns would benefit from an annual aeration. This is especially true where the turf areas are growing in clay soils. The pulled cores can remain to gradually disintegrate or be raked out or broken up with a power rake. Because the root zone then has an abundance of air, the grass plants will be able to more effectively take up water and nutrients.
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