The current spring thaw after a record snowfall this year has people in the Northwest itching to get outside and start sprucing up the yard. (Mine is in this ugly matted grayish-brown stage and partially covered with some leaves I missed raking up before the snow fell.) However, this past weekend I spruced up the inside of my house instead, heeding the advice of "Yardening*" guru Jeff Ball:
"If you tromp around on a lawn that has not dried out properly, you are hurting the grass plants as well as causing compaction damage to the soil under the turf. Do not dig the vegetable garden, do not start digging in the flower beds, and avoid too much walking on the lawn until the soil has dried out from its winter soaking."
Jeff has appeared on the Today Show as their gardening expert and highlighted our Reusable Yellowjacket Trap in a feature on pest control. I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of years ago at a Garden Writers' Association event.
*Notice I said "yardening", not "gardening". Jeff Ball's web site,newsletter, blog and column in the Detroit News are aimed at "yardeners": those homeowners who work outdoors mostly on the weekends to achieve an attractive well-tended lawn with perennials, annuals, and perhaps a few veggies or herbs growing -- but not a full-on vegetable garden. An important niche there, and one in which I would count myself. Check out Jeff's free "Yardener's Advisor" newsletter, which you can customize to get advice on the plants specific to your yard and how to care for them each month.