I can see clearly now the snow is gone

By on Feb 23, 2018 in Early Spring |

My apologies to Johnny Nash for the variation on his song lyrics but it’s exciting to see the snow go away. Everything goes nuts when the soil temperatures climb to 60 degrees plus in spring. When will that happen? Every year is different. Here in southwest Michigan usually sometime in mid April. I have had people write me, call me, ask me in response to GDD comments I have made on the air. That would be “growing degree days” and their fascination with the process. They are living it but not realizing it. Anyone who in spring has not carried a soil thermometer around with them has not truly lived life to the fullest. Probe the soil in anticipation of 60 degree ground temperatures and you my friend are alive. We all live with the air temperature forecasts projected by meteorologists to plan our week’s activities with their 7 day forecasts. But if you want an earthy experience...

Snow Mold when the snow is “Lawn” gone

By on Mar 17, 2015 in Early Spring |

So why all the problems with snow mold this spring? The answer lies in my opinion with the weather last November. Even though you possibly did everything right, weather conditions set up for the perfect storm, especially if your lawn is clay soil based or you haven’t core aerated in a few years. The lawn was still growing when the early snows hit last year….followed by a long winter of snow cover. The lawn is the host and the disease we call snow mold was present waiting for conditions to be ripe. You see even though we as people are dealing in winter with frigid winds and cold….under the snow which serves as insulation the turf is in a wet humid dark environment with temperatures around or just above freezing….ideal conditions for snow mold. I went back to look and the first 10 to 15 days of November we had some days in the 50’s and 60’s. Mid...

What’s “Growing” On?

By on Mar 3, 2015 in Early Spring |

(Garden Trends 2015) The activity of gardening is synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. People see their outdoor space and activities as an extension and reflection of themselves. Not only is the outdoor area a living space, it is also a reflection of our personalities and a healthy lifestyle. The Millennial generation (18-35) is leading the charge for change including front yard gardens and goats in cities and suburbs. In some cases this includes movements to change neighborhood ordinances. Recently we posed the subject of the return of the clothesline to the yard on my radio show. The phone lines lit up with wide and varied opinions. As a kid I remember the clotheslines in the neighborhood and the sometimes embarrassing public displays of garments flapping in the breeze. Many Baby Boomers like me have these memories including the smell of line dried sheets on the bed at night. For...

Running Wild

By on Apr 22, 2014 in Early Spring |

I enjoy my runs in April as I prepare for the 5th 3rd River Bank run coming up in May. Every time I hit the Kent Trails at this time of year I see something new popping up. The Kent Trails between M-6 and 84th street are fertile with wildflowers. From the Trilliums to the Trout lily, from the Bloodroot to the Mayapple, I get a good swift kick in the “plants” on my training runs. My favorite “Ka-Bloom” has and I think always will be the Hellebores I find in bloom along the trail.      

Hot House

By on Apr 16, 2014 in Early Spring |

I believe there is a direct link between your health and being surrounded by plants. Not just consuming healthy vegetation….but absorbing the “mood” benefit of plants can have a direct impact on wellness. Watch this news story where we tried a “Yoga Heat” class in our greenhouse: http://www.wzzm13.com/story/life/wellness/healthy-you/2014/04/15/greenhouseyogawellness/7750371/  

How long has this been “growing” on?

By on Mar 28, 2014 in Early Spring |

How long has this been “growing” on? I’m so anxious to get growing, how about you? After a long winter we’re all ready to grow something. In April a lot of garden activities center on lawn care, mulching, soil preparation and some planting of hardy plants like trees. Remember Arbor Day? Well there’s more to it than that, it’s “grow” time. You can get a jump start on the season with some tender plants by pushing the envelope with some light frost tolerant annuals and by polishing up on your container planting skills. Contain yourself, it’s “grow” time. Let me first “plant” this idea in your head. I’m a big fan of pansies and violas because they’re colorful and tough. That’s right, frost tolerant and durable with the cutest little colorful faces you’ve ever seen. I suggest you plant up some pots of pansies to get your fix. If we get an unfortunate night time temperature that goes beyond...