Spring Tips

Spring Frost Protection

If you have already set out tender annual flower or summer vegetable plants in your garden, be prepared to cover them with frost protection materials if the weather forecast is for a frost event for your local area. A double sheet of newspaper or floating row cover cloth over your plants will be all the protection that you need to protect them from frost damage.

A Word About Garden Impatiens

Planting garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) in your shade garden this spring still carries the threat of infection by the fungus Impatiens Downy Mildew. This fungus only affects this one species of impatiens, but normally results in total plant death. To prevent this from happening, treat all of your plants with a foliage application of the fungicide Agri-fos®, at the rate of 1 fl. oz. of Agri-fos® per gallon of water. Repeat with a follow-up application of Agri-fos® 14 days later.

Cross-pollination of Fruit Trees

If you’re planning to plant edible fruit-bearing trees and shrubs this spring, one very important thing to keep in mind is the concept of ‘Cross-pollination’. ‘Cross-pollination’ means that a specific variety of fruit plant’s blossoms may require pollination from another, different variety plant of the same fruit type. Basically, they cannot pollinate themselves, nor can they pollinate other trees of their own variety. For instance, Gala apple blossoms need to be pollinated by a Fuji or other suitable apple variety to produce Gala apples. As well, the Fuji will need pollen from the Gala or other suitable apple variety because it, too, must meet this cross-pollination requirement. Be sure to check the requirements for cross-pollination for the plant variety you select.

Other fruit types, such as apricots, peaches and nectarines, are all self-pollinating and can pollinate their own blossoms and the blossoms of other trees of the same type. The information tag on the plants you select will explain the specific pollination requirements of that plant.

Keep it Sharp!

You may be doing your lawn a disservice by not keeping your lawn mower blades properly sharpened. Dull blades tear the grass blades rather than cutting them cleanly; damaging the grass blades and leaving your lawn looking the worst for wear. A sharp mower blade makes a world of difference in the way your lawn looks.

Can’t find a quality sharpening service? Bring your mower blades to Homestead and have them professionally sharpened by Burrbenders Sharpening Service while you shop! Burrbender’s is at our Severna Park Garden location on Mondays and at our Davidsonville location on Fridays and Saturdays. They also sharpen knives, garden and other tools.