Dan Keyport introduced us to our speaker Cory Whitmer, the Design & Sales Manager from The Mustard Seed Landscape and Gardening Center. Cory graduated from Eastern Illinois University majoring in botany and biology. In the spring of 2004, Cory Whitmer joined The Mustard Seed and 4 other MNLA (Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association) Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals. Cory provided us with Tips and Tricks of springtime yard care.
• Don’t rake grass too early in the year. The grass roots are easily broken. Wait until after a 2nd mowing. Instead, use a blower to clear leaves and debris.
• Fill in bare spots with seed soon after the temperature gets above freezing. Add lime to counter the acidic bare spots caused by animal waste.
• Only 85% of weeds are stopped by pre-emergent chemical application. Some weeds have already got roots that will bring them out.
• Add gypsum to lawn and mulch areas. It helps break down the clay that is prevalent in this area. Apply it and fertilizer after forsythia and lilacs have bloomed. Wait until then to trim trees and bushes.
• Fertilizer is categorized by its ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. N = aids fast growth. P = helps blooms brighten your day (but keep it away from water and drains). K = for general health of plants. Cory recommended N15-P9-K12 for flower beds.
• Organic fertilizer such as manure also helps break down soil for better plant health. Adding it and/or peat moss to bare root planting holes, and mix it with existing soil.
• Test soil moisture like you do for a cake – if material sticks, don’t add more water.
Learn more about The Mustard Seed at 10,000 Great Plains Blvd., Chaska MN 55318. Phone: 952.445.6555; web: http://www.themustardseedinc.com/