Just when we thought spring might be around the corner…bang! More snow!
That, combined with the fact that most of us are holed up at home anyway because of the Coronavirus probably means you’re well caught up on your favourite TV and Netflix shows by now. What next?
Well, three things are for sure:
- This pandemic will end
- Life will go on, even if some aspects of it may change
- Households will still need to be prepared for the warmer months ahead
So, what can we be doing now to prepare for that.
Will this winter ever end?
This Calgary winter started around the end of September 2019 and has not stopped! While we Albertans pride ourselves on being able to tough out whatever nature throws at us, this winter seems particularly long.
But some of you may remember the end of April last year when Calgary received 13 cm of snow in one day. So, maybe we should not be expecting anything different?
The worst of the chill may have abated but we’re well into April now, Easter is upon us, snow is still on the ground and has started to fall again. At this rate, the winter may outlive the pandemic!
But both will eventually subside and where does that leave us?
Well, a long snow season leads to a short melting season and that creates its own challenges for homes and yards around Alberta.
Start preparing your lawn with power raking
The winter is never very kind on your lawn but when it extends far into the springtime months, it may need a little extra tender loving care to get it looking in tip-top condition for summer.
Your lawn may develop large patches of brown grass or slowed grass growth from the snow.
Other winter-caused lawn problems include the need to repair salt or snowplow damage, snow mould, or crown hydration.
Our previous post on preparing your lawn for spring has some extra tips but, right now, if the weather allows it, one thing you can consider is power raking.
Why is it important to power rake?
Power raking removes dead grass and excess thatch from your lawn, ensuring a thick, lush, and healthy lawn that the family can enjoy in the warmer months. It also increases the effectiveness of fertilizers, watering, and pest controls.
A light thatch layer aids a healthy lawn so it is important not to rake too deep and damage the root system. It is ideal to leave ¼ or ½ inch of thatch in the lawn to keep the roots from being damaged but also, to give cover and shade for the new sprouts coming!
Additionally, it is also important to keep some thatch to help retain water.
Power raking around this time of year makes sense but beware: the previous years’ raking depths will affect how deep you should rake this year. Unless you know what you’re doing, the job may be best left to professionals.
When is the best time to power rake?
The best time to power rake is when the seasons are changing: as the cooler temperatures of winter start to rise in spring, your lawn gets ready to grow.
This is the ideal time to remove the dead grass and thatch – before new lawn growth starts and it becomes green.
In Calgary, this would normally mean between April 1st and May 15th but that period may be a little shorter because of the extended winter. Remember, the short melting season means a short clean-up season of a few weeks rather than two months.
After the grass is green, many opportunities for standard springtime lawn care are already gone.
Get the children involved in the yard work
With your children set to spend the rest of their school-year at home, it might be a great time to get them to help you prepare your lawn and make it safe and inviting for the summer vacation.
Perhaps you can get them interested in learning a few practical gardening skills that will stand them in good stead for the future.
Get active and take your mind off the virus
Working in the yard is a great way to stay active and it also provides a break from all the negative news out there.
We don’t know about you, but we have done our fair share of binge-watching all sorts of shows that we wouldn’t normally bother with.
The fact is that we’ve probably all had too much “screen time” over the past few weeks.
As the stay home stay safe policy looks set to continue for at least a few weeks more, why not take the time to get active in the yard and get things ready for summer?
We truly believe that we will get a summer this year, eventually!