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Helpful Do's and Don'ts For The Start Of Gardening Season

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Did you spend any time working in your yard over the weekend?  We’re in that great period of time right now when we can enjoy the warm weather without yet worrying about mowing the lawn.

But Lake Effect gardening contributor Melinda Myers says that doesn’t mean we should ignore our yard as the last piles of snow disappear.

Tip #1: Notice where your water is collecting as the snow melts and evaluate your plantings. Take the opportunity to start a rain garden or  get a rain barrel or cistern to take away some of the water going into the storm drains.

Tip #2: Lightly rake your lawn wherever the snow lingers. This prevents snow mold and will fluff and dry out the lawn.

Tip #3: Start pruning summer blooming shrubs. - If in doubt, leave plants intact and prune later to confirm a "winter kill."

Tip #4: Start cleanup of leaves and plants left  behind to compost.

Tip #5: Do NOT fertilize! Fertilizing frozen ground is bad for our water, so wait until Memorial Day at least.

Melinda Myers is the author of numerous books on gardening, including Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin, and host of Melinda’s Garden Moments on TV.  She will make an upcoming appearance at the Realtors Home & Garden Show on March 21st and 22nd. 

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine.