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From the StarTribune: Outdoor chore do's and don'ts

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P1160972.JPGArticle by: KIM PALMER, Star Tribune
Updated: March 23, 2012

Our "unprecedented" early spring leaves homeowners in a quandary: Spring into action? Or put on the brakes?

It looks like May. It feels like May. Does that mean we should act like it's May in caring for our lawns and gardens?


That's a tough one. Even experts aren't sure what to make of our balmy March.

"There are so many unknowns here," said horticulturist Deb Brown. "It's such an unusual year, there isn't a good precedent."

In this record-breaking year, here are the experts' best educated guesses about what you should -- and shouldn't -- be doing outdoors.

Rake? Probably yes, but with caution. "Now that we have had some rain, and the grass is greening up, it's OK to rake the lawn," said Brian Horgan, turfgrass specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

But rake gently, using a lightweight, fan-type rake, Brown cautioned. "The danger in raking at this point is that you can pull out young grass; you need to be careful."Read more ....
 

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