Dr. Dirt: All clear for late frost

It looks like we will not have to worry about a late frost.  May 10 is the average date of the last frost in central Indiana. However, the soil temperatures are on the cool side, so take it easy on planting vegetables like cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

If you haven't protected your ash trees, now is the time to act. Professional arborists have an injection that provides two years of protection.  Do-it-yourself applications are good for one year.  Either way, now is the time to act.  Eliminate the new suckers on crabapple trees by putting on a glove and rubbing them off while they are small. 

A starter fertilizer is a good way to get annual flowers off to a fast start.  Also, remember that cell packs of plants are often root bound.  Pull and spread these roots apart, otherwise the plants often fall, because the roots keep growing in a narrow circle.

Grafted tomato plants are new to the area this year. They come with a pretty hefty price, so you might want to experiment with a few plants this year.

Chickweed is disappearing as the grass grows, but it will be back in late summer. Chickweed is a winter annual. It starts in late summer as very small plants, but growth explodes in late winter and early spring. Apply a crabgrass presenter in late summer to stop chickweed seed germination. 

Excessive lawn clippings are easy to eliminate. Just wait a couple days after mowing and mow again, which spreads the clippings.

This has been a good spring for dandelions. Spot treating is the way to get rid of them.  Even more important will be broadleaf weed control in mid-September, when the weeds are small.

This coming Saturday, Dr. Dirt will join Pat Sullivan at Sullivan's Hardware & Garden at 71st Street and Keystone Avenue from 9  a.m. to 1  p.m.

Happy Gardening, Dr. Dirt

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