Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Hurry up spring! Photo courtesy SCC
Well spring is within reach, and all the weather forecasters and meteorologists are giving their famous “Long Range” forecasts for the coming months. I thought; why not go out on a limb and just talk a little about what we are doing here in the grounds department, some things coming up, and what we see for the future. So here it is, my heavily opinionated Long Range Grounds Forecast for SCC 2012!
We are currently up to our eyeballs in mulch. Mulch is a great aesthetic addition to the winter landscape. It also helps reduce weeds and help with moisture control in some soils. We start early in the winter because we have over two thousand trees and shrubs to mulch! Our yards may be a one or two day project, but here at SCC it takes quite a bit more time and planning. We also have a lot of pests your yard should be void of, like a haphazard weed-eater, students swinging from your trees, and even more unimaginable challenges that we face here at SCC. Mulch helps as a natural barrier to some of those… challenges. We are using sustainable mulch again from Missouri Mulch, which derives their products from the wine barrel making industry.
I really think mulch, and any weed preventative, is going to be helpful this year. I think the warming temperatures are going to give us a headache when it comes to weeds this year. Heck, we have had weeds growing in some of our flower beds all winter! I know everyone is concerned about insects this year, but I think a couple of cold snaps in March are really going to help us out. I am more worried that with the increase of insects this year is really going to have an effect on us next year, because of the higher breeding populations this year. Also, keep in mind, many of the invasive species, such as Japanese beetles, originate from a place that is used to cold winters, so winter does very little to control populations in most insect species.
Soon we will be preparing turf for its green up. Over seeding, fertilizing, weed control, and the like. We are expecting some below average temperatures in March, so we are not moving our seeding time window around, but we are going to try and have our entire seed down prior to Easter. This may be a little early for someone with a small yard, but we need the last three weeks in April to start working on our perennials and flower beds.
The warm weather is good news for our athletic teams. They often have a hard time with the challenges of winter, but it looks like the weather may be on their side this season and have few games rescheduled. It looks like they have quite a few games this year, and Soccer Season is also just around the corner. The athletic fields are a real challenge to our department this year considering how much work it takes to maintain those particular assets, especially with rising costs for supplies and materials. We are also seeing an increase in home games and outside events, but we are lucky to have some very skilled groundskeepers here at SCC that can take on the challenge and keep the athletic fields in great playing condition.
There is so much to talk about, and get excited about in the coming spring I am going to divide this Blog post into two parts. Of course I saved the best stuff for part two, some green and sustainable projects, and some flowers and trees! There are a lot of special things about this coming season and some challenges we face here in the SCC Grounds Department, as well as in the green industry itself. Until then, thanks for reading, and stay rooted!
Posted by Dan Porter at 11:25 AM