Gardener's Notebook: Plots available for gardens in city

et’s talk gardening! The Community Peace Garden (located at the Yorkton Alliance Church) will have some garden plots available for the coming gardening season. If you’re looking for some gardening space, please call Warren at 306-782-3249 for full details.

The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society is still without meetings, but looking ahead with hope to when we can gather again! Visit us at www.yorktonhort.ca to find out what’s new!

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This time of year is the time of excited hope as we look out at our slowly- emerging gardens: the snow is melting, and we can see clumps of our perennials’ stems and branches. Hopefully they all made it through the winter in fine form. We’ll see in the coming weeks.

But for now, we see clean-up work ahead. As the pristine white snow melts, we are left with dusty and dirty drifts of snow along the edges of the garden, flattened and grimy leaves, and the gritty look that all gardens have first thing in the spring. We know a good cleaning will get rid of it, and if we are blessed to have some nice gentle rain, that will help a lot, too.

However, this time of year also has one other guest in the garden: snow mold. What is snow mold? It’s a fungus problem that begins quietly under the weight of our winter snows, a combined problem of moisture and garden debris and dust that all make friends and decide to party when spring comes. You’ve probably seen the culprit; it sometimes looks like dense cobwebs on the grass.

There are two types of snow mold, gray and pink. The gray, typhula blight, is the more common and is a problem because in its more intense strength, it can kill our lawns. Once the grass is beginning to dry, we can rake the area to promote air circulation, and as times goes on we may have to re-seed patches of our lawn. There are fungicides that can help, but they must be applied in the fall.

So far we have been addressing the cosmetic problem of snow mold. For many gardeners, though, the larger problem is that snow mold spores get stirred up as the snow melts and the wind blows, and a spring walk can leave us coughing, sneezing and struggling with itchy eyes. The degree of discomfort may be mild enough that avoiding walking on the compacted, dirty grass will ease the symptoms, but it may be intense enough to require allergy medication like an antihistamine. It seems a lot of gardeners suffer from this seasonal malady, and all we can do it wait for bright sunny spring days and strong spring breezes to come along and dry everything up.

Well, spring is here, and I’m sure most of us can’t wait to get out there, snow mold or not! This year, the year of the new normal, it might be a little easier for us to wear a mask while doing that first spring work, this might help keep out some of the air-borne spores. And like with all things, this too will pass and we’ll be outdoors and planning this year’s gardens!

Let’s keep in mind and plan for plants that will attract pollinators to our gardens; this is vital. Did you know that at least one in three bites of food that we eat, or beverages that we drink, are possible only because of pollinators? They need and deserve our help to create a pollinator-friendly habitat! Let’s chat about this more another time!

Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for their super work! Let’s continue to pray for health for all and brighter times ahead. Have a great week!

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