The Great Outdoors


So we waited, waited, and waited some more for spring to arrive. Finally, it got here, but late April? What was Mother Nature thinking?

Every year in the hardware business we plan for the unofficial beginning of spring. Because once the weather breaks, our customers start their annual outdoor spruce up and fix-up chores, which naturally brings them into their local hardware store! Normally, just like clockwork, mid to late March is when it all begins. This year it took another 30 days for spring to get going! Wet weather, few warm days, and mostly cold and below freezing nighttime lows really slowed everything down.

Besides adding to your bad case of cabin fever, did you notice how much your lawn grass, trees and shrubs were affected?
Lawn Grass:

Normally, everybody has mowed at least once by the 1st of April. Not this year! Not only did the grass not grow, it seemed to stay dormant(brown), for much longer than normal. My 1st mowing was the 3rd week of April.

Also slow to come around. I saw only a few yards of dandelions by mid-April. Personally, my dandelions didn’t go yellow ‘til after May 1st. About 2 weeks behind schedule. Then what seemed odd to me was the length of time the dandelion blooms stayed yellow. Almost 2 weeks! The good thing with that was that many people took advantage of getting a Weed & Feed or Weed B Gon product on their yard before the dandelions went to seed. If you haven’t attacked the dandelions yet, you still can. You don’t need to have yellow flowers actively growing on your dandelion plants to treat them with a herbicide. You can still do it now, or anytime ‘til mid-fall.

Flowering Trees:
Boy did my crabapple trees have beautiful blooms this year. They were late like everything else, but they held their blooms ‘til May 20th.

A good friend of mine is a morel mushroom hunter. He said that normally the crop is done by May 1st. This year it didn’t start until May 2nd and he still found some on May 17th! And I heard that the hummingbird pilgrimage from down south was delayed for about 10 days.

Even though early spring was definitely out of whack this year, it doesn’t look like any damage was done. It doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to get back on track. My grass is now growing like crazy. The 1st crop of dandelions have come and gone. And the new, spring growth on my pine trees looks better than it has in years. And the extended forecast looks normal. And after the spring we had, I’m looking forward to it!

-Grass in your lawn can grow up to 3/8” per day!
-Dandelion puffballs can contain 72 – 154 dandelion seeds!
-Dandelion roots can grow over 10’ down into the soil.
-Dandelion flowers can be used to make wine and the leaves can be boiled like spinach or added uncooked to salads and desserts.

Dave Umber
Latest posts by Dave Umber (see all)

Dave Umber

Dave is the owner of Umber’s Do it Best, which has been a family owned and operated since 1944. Whatever your project needs are, we can help. Stop in today at 2413 Lwr. Huntington Rd. Ft. Wayne, In 46809. Call (260) 747-3866. > More Articles Written By This Writer