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UT Extension Hot Topics – Agent offers tips for springtime

By Chris Mackey

The trees are budding, grass is growing, and temperatures are quickly on the rise. Yes, folks, springtime is here! Many of you are itching to get out in this beautiful spring weather to work in your lawns, gardens, and pastures.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has thrown a kink in many of our plans.

Here are three quick tips where you can work in this gorgeous spring weather while you practice “social distancing.”

Tip #1 – If you have not tested your future garden plot, time is quickly running out. Preparing your garden site with the proper nutrients is essential for improved fruit and vegetable production. While a basic soil sample will show what nutrients need to be added at the beginning of the growing season, it is important to remember that side-dressing with various nutrients for your crops throughout the spring and summer can also improve your garden’s productivity.   

Tip #2 – Due to the excessive amount of precipitation this winter and early spring, many high traffic areas have increased ground exposure and limited vegetative growth. These areas can be reseeded but need to be done quickly! Seeding much later will result in decreased germination for many varieties, consequently costing you more money down the road.

Tip #3 – Increased growth of weeds and pest plants are a major concern during this time of year. Weed control, especially where bare ground is exposed, is of utmost importance. Early preventative measures will help you to manage these pesky plants during the growth of your lawns and pastures, especially when it comes time to eliminate weeds during the fall months. 

If you need assistance with managing your lawns, gardens, or pasture land, contact Chris Mackey in the UT Extension Office at 735-1637. Additional information can also be found on our website at unicoi.tennessee.edu for a full list of programs and events.

Program announcements and timely educational resources can also be found on the local UT Extension Facebook page at facebook.com/unicoiextension.