Spring is in the Air

    This being Northeastern Ohio we’re all used to wild swings in the weather. Just last week I wrote about our new steam boiler up at our cottage. Today it is about 60 degrees and folks are walking in the store wearing T-shirts. I’ll be willing to bet that Winter is not over by a long shot, but this warm weather has us all planning for Spring. With that in mind, I’ll cover a few of the things at the store that you’ll need for your chores now that the weather is breaking.

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   One of the first things that you will need is a good rake. If your yard is like mine, the minute the snow melts there are a million sticks in the grass that have fallen off the trees during the Winter. They hide in the snow until the big Spring thaw and all of a sudden, Bang! there they are. Arm yourself with the rake of your choice and go get them! Metal and plastic tined rakes are more aggressive, but as a traditionalist I prefer bamboo. You also might need a stiff steel garden rake to get all the gravel out of the lawn where the snowplowing guy thoughtfully pushed it.

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   After the lawn is cleared off the next item to clean up is usually the flower garden. A selection of trowels and cultivators are handy to work there. I know that you’re supposed to plant bulbs in the Fall, but it seems that we always have some to go in in the Spring. My Mom always kept her garden tools in one of those old peach baskets with the handle on top, but you can also just dump them all in a bucket or something.

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   Another Spring chore is to make sure your garden hoses are in good shape. Sure you won’t need them for watering until July, but you want to wash all that salt off your car, right? You can buy new hoses if yours aren’t in great shape, but they’re expensive and usually they just need a new end that is easily replaced. If you forgot to drain them and they froze during the cold weather (shame on you!) cut out the burst section and buy a splice to put it back together again.

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   The last (but certainly most important!) thing you need to do is get some seeds for your garden (flower, vegetable or herb). Many cannot be planted until the ground warms up, or even until the last frost date, which is near the beginning of June around here. However, some can be planted inside soon and when it is time to put them out you’ll have nice, healthy seedlings to put in your garden. Sure you can buy them at the garden center, but I think that it is fun to watch them sprout and grow, and you can brag, “I grew them from seed myself.”