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Environment & Outdoors
Gardening tips for Duluth's Northern climate, hosted by Master Gardener Tom Kasper.

Tips for Hardy Gardeners: Easy lawn care tasks in early spring

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Noricum [via Flickr, commercial use allowed]
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Snow Mold

Tom Kasper reminds us about the things we can do this time of year even before it is time to dig into the garden beds. One of the easiest tasks is dealing with snow mold. Snow mold is a whi8te weblike dust that appears on many lawns as the heavy winter snows finally melt away. A very – very – gentle raking with a light plastic or spring-tined rake will disturb the mold to help it disappear. Resist the urge to be overaggressive, however, as the young grass sprouting underneath is fragile. One could even use a broom.

The gritty sand that remains on the boulevards along the streets left by snowplows can also be removed. Light raking may be a way to start, but Tom realizes that sometimes a little more aggression there may be required; in the long run, sand will cause much more damage than a little over-raking.

Lawns will start to grow again very soon, and Tom says we might consider being less of a perfectionist with lawn grooming. Common wildflowers found in lawns – dandelions and clover included – are beneficial for bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollen-collecting wildlife.