I asked Michael and Vicki Dennison, owners of Budget Lawn Care in Elkview, what else we should be doing to our lawns and when. One thing I know we need to do around here is work on some of those "ugly spots" in the lawn.
"When patching a bald or dead area, we will apply a mixture of grass seeds," Scott's brand sun/shade grass seed, Vicki explained. "The mixture is made up of perennial ryegrass, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, which allows some of the seeds to be fast-germinating and the rest to fill in later. It's an all-purpose mixture.
"We recommend covering this area with a light layer of straw to protect from birds and for keeping in the moisture. This area will start to grow in about one to three weeks," she added. "We use a seed spreader making sure not to overseed the area. Overseeding does not grow more grass," Vicki said.
What's next? Mowing and mulching. Budget Lawn Care is a small, family-owned business and they start mowing sometime between March 15 to April 1, depending on when the weather starts getting warm enough and on what the customers want.
"We mow/mulch the leaves in the fall and leave them on the yard, unless the customer wants them cleaned up. Everyone has different needs and wants," Vicki said. But if the leaves are mulched onto the grass in the fall, they recommend a spring cleanup. It allows for a fresh start for the grass to get the sunlight needed to grow. To contact Budget Lawn Care, call 965-2034.
Around the garden centers
Bill Mills and I have something in common - we both noticed and thoroughly enjoyed our witch hazel (Hamamelis x) last week. What a joy to have a winter-flowering beauty in the garden. Find Bill's beautiful newsletter and other gardening goodies from TerraSalis at terrasalis.homestead.com.
Joe Greenwood says the berries and fruit trees will be arriving next week at Green's. I saw Joe repairing sidewalks around the plant displays last week on a sunny day, all in preparation for the trucks to start rolling in with all of the new plants. He tells me he's getting some things from a new supplier as well as from his favorite old ones, so be sure to check out Green's over the next several weeks.
Before you begin
"Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor's garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one."
- Dave Barry
Sara Busse is a Charleston resident and master gardener. She may be contacted at sjbu...@gmail.com.