By now, the combinations of hot and cool weather, dry and rainy days have your yard growing. But maybe not the way you’d like, either because you can’t find the grass for the weeds, or because those flowerbeds are looking a bit shabby.
Flowers and shrubs can still be planted, but that activity is slowing down. The concentration now is on fine-tuning, problem control and maintenance.
First, check your yard thoroughly. Weeds, grubs, insects, moles and plant diseases can be dealt with, with the proper insecticides, fertilizers, traps and pest controls. For specifics, take what you see to your local Ace Hardware, where you can get advice on what products will best deal with your situation. For possible plant diseases, clip a leaf sample and bring it in.
Also, ask about different fertilizers. Plants, trees and shrubs prefer different nutrients, so one is not good for all.
And remember: if you children and/or pets, ask about safe, non-toxic alternatives for pesticides and fertilizers.
While at Ace, consider mulching in your flowerbeds and around bushes and trees. Three to six inches will keep moisture in and plants cool in the hot summer sun. To prevent rotting, do not put mulch right up against tree trunks or plant stems. For the right look, you’ll find a selection of mulch types with different textures and coloration, like cedar and pine.
Finally, consider drainage. Plants should be watered from the ground, not from above, which can “drown” them. You might consider a flexible downspout and pad to carry excess water from storms away from plants. A flexible drainage hose connected to a downspout can be buried out of sight, or hidden by tucking it along the foundation wall until the outflow reaches a point further away from the house.
Bjorkman's Ace Hardware
4520 W. Crystal Lake Rd., McHenry, Il., 60050.
Call (815) 385-3660.