I want to give a big thank you to the Hinsdale Garden Club for their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality yesterday at their monthly meeting. You were very kind and gracious and I hope I could share a few things that was helpful or informative. Thank you again!
It's still winter! This morning the wind chill is zero degrees. More than that, it's the wind. Chris and I work outside and anyone who is outside for any length of time knows the wind will really take it out of you. My insulated Carharts are still front and center. :-(
Here's a progress report; The trees and lawns look good.
Turf is ready to go. The new green shoots are formed and ready to begin growing but they are hardy and these cold snaps will not do much damage. As soon as the weather breaks the lawns will green up quickly. Our turf grasses are well adapted to this kind of back-and-forth weather altho the wind may dry out a few of the new shoots. The roots systems of turf grass are very strong and plants will draw on root reserves to make new blades of grass to replace anything that might have been damaged by late cold or wind.
From the lawns point of view, these late winter snows and rains have been a real blessing. Last year was too dry. And what especially hurt was the dry Autumn. In the Autumn, plants store food in their roots but they need water to make their food so a dry Autumn means that plants are going into winter with low root reserves. I know some books say not to water your plants in the Autumn because it will make them grow and become soft and vulnerable to winter kill but I have not observed that and those dry plants will suffer more winter damage and have very poor vigor in the springtime. I have observed this many times.
The trees still have their buds tight to the stem just like they did in January. I see that Silver Maple buds have swollen and are separated from the stem so when the air temperature warms up they will be the first to flower. Their flowers are not showy but instead are small and reddish. From a distance they look like little red fuzz balls. They will develop little "helicopters" that will fall to the ground in May and the squirrels eat most of them as it's their first fresh food since last Autumn.
When the air temperature goes above 32 or 35 then we can begin feeding our trees if we want to. Bark has pores just like our skin and they absorb food thru the pores very well. Bark feeding our trees is very effective and efficient. Within one week the food will be translocated all the way to the top of the tree even if it is very tall! It's very important that plant foods be high in phosphorus. There are a number of reasons for this which I will explain another time.
Take care everybody and stay warm. Our plants are fine but they want some sunshine as much as we do!
And remember, for very high quality organic lawn and tree feeding
in the Western suburbs of Chicago then call Chris to schedule an estimate and start service when you are ready. We are experts at soil and plant nutrition. We control insects and diseases nutritionally or with minimal pesticide spray. Our organic lawn and tree fertilizers are very effective at growing healthy plants and are also completely safe for our children and pets. Call Chris today! 630-649-1476.