It is tick season. What you should know

Every spring, Fran and I’ve an off-the-cuff contest to see who finds the primary tick, who will get bitten first, and what number of ticks we every discover from now ’til it will get chilly sufficient for them to go away. I gained the primary contest final weekend. I used to be sitting within the automotive ready for Fran to complete an errand and I reached for my water bottle. There on the cap was a tiny tick, simply crawling round. I attempted to scrape it off on the open window however that didn’t work so I attempted a finger flick. The evil little creature reached as much as seize me however I flicked it out the window earlier than it bought on me.

The lesson: Verify for ticks everytime you exit. Neither of us was within the excessive grass or brushing in opposition to shrubs and it nonetheless bought within the automotive.

There are lots of false details about ticks:

  • They don’t soar; they journey by attaching to one thing that brushes in opposition to no matter they’re hiding.
  • You’ll not be uncovered to the ailments if the tick doesn’t chew you or is eliminated shortly.
  • Don’t use Vicks. nail polish, petroleum jelly or a scorching flame.
  • All ticks don’t carry illness and completely different ticks normally carry completely different ailments.
  • Whereas a bullseye is commonly seen as an indication of Lyme illness, simply since you don’t have one doesn’t imply you aren’t contaminated.
  • Not all insect repellants are efficient on ticks. Verify labels earlier than buying.
  • For correct and up-to-date info on ticks, elimination, potential ailments, take a look at the Heart for Illness Management (CDC) web site, cdc.gov/ticks/index.html.

Shopping for crops

Whereas I’ve usually warned about placing crops out too early, I’m actually not telling you to not purchase crops. So long as you will have a protected space and watch nighttime temperatures and chilly days, it’s nice.

I began purchasing final week, choosing out the herbs for my raised planter. Fran and I visited Brick’s Backyard Heart, 1200 S West Finish Blvd in Quakertown, (215 536-7102). I additionally ordered three caryopteris bushes (Blue Mist Spirea). I really like this plant. It has lovely blue flowers within the late summer season, the bees like it, the deer don’t eat it and care is easy — reduce by a minimum of half within the spring earlier than it begins rising. The unhealthy information are that it’s comparatively short-lived and likes full solar, a uncommon commodity in our yard.

If you store in individual:

  • Search for wholesome crops with little or no injury.
  • Verify the roots. A pot-bound annual is little to fret about however beware crops with roots that circle the container. That is significantly vital for shrubs and bushes.
  • Verify for bugs. Look ahead to white clouds of bugs whenever you brush the leaves. Look on the underside for hidden pests or egg plenty, and verify for proof of chewing.
  • Verify for a number of stems, normally a great signal.
  • Verify the rising wants and choose applicable crops for you backyard.
  • Buds are a great factor, they promise potential flowers. Flowers in full bloom aren’t so good as it would shorten your bloom season wench you get house. The exception is that if you should see the colour of the flower or it’s a plant like wisteria which can by no means bloom.

Backyard occasions

Busy Staff: The annual Busy Staff’ Plant and Attic Treasures Sale is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Might 13 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Might 14. The sale is on the Central Moravian Church Christian Ed. Bldg., 40 W. Church St., Bethlehem. There might be a wide range of annuals, hanging baskets, vegetable and herb crops, numerous perennials and daylilies, plus springtime wreaths, crafts, baked items and attic treasures galore.  All gross sales profit charities, domestically and globally. www.centralmoravianchurch.org

In our backyard

The star of the week is the hawthorn tree. A cloud of delicate white flowers conceal the nasty thorns that dominate the branches the remainder of the yr. Lots of the daffodils have been destroyed within the final storm however we do have just a few late varieties nonetheless to come back.

My pussy willow branches from Jack’s outdated plant are rooting within the willow water and can quickly be prepared to maneuver into pots. I forgot in regards to the forsythia cuttings and should strive once more.

A favourite, my tricolor butterfly Japanese maple is leafing out and as soon as once more it has a inexperienced leafed department that should be lower out to keep away from reversion of the remainder of the tree to inexperienced.

Week within the backyard

Planting: Begin seed for: Pumpkins, eggplant, summer season squash, winter squash. Proceed sowing child’s breath, cosmos and zinnias. Direct sow: Celeric, celery, cabbage, carrots, collards, bunching onions, onion units, parsnips, and Swiss chard. Proceed sowing: Chinese language cabbage, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, head and leaf lettuce, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips.

Proceed planting seeds for transplanting for: Balsam bachelor buttons, calendula, cockscomb, gaillardia, marigold, morning glory, nasturtium, cantaloupe, melon and Swiss chard. Plant bushes and shrubs. Be certain the soil is dry sufficient to work — don‘t dig or plant in mud. Plant or pot up summer season bulbs and tubers reminiscent of dahlias, cannas, calla lilies, and caladiums. Purchase annuals for containers, annual backyard beds and to fill in naked spots in perennial or shrub beds.

Seasonal: Because the climate warms, begin easing out the hardiest of your crops that wintered over inside. Begin with an hour or so on a heat day and enhance outside time till the nights are frequently within the 50-degree vary earlier than leaving them out for the season. Go to nurseries or on-line ordering for brand spanking new crops. Store for summer season bulbs as properly. Apply a high dressing of compost to lawns and beds. Transfer indoor crops into brighter mild and begin common watering. Spring and summer season mulch ought to be 2 to three inches deep and utilized just a few inches away from foundations, tree trunks and different crops. Fluff mulch and add extra if mandatory. Calculate quantity of spring mulch wanted then order or purchase it. For those who use corn gluten based mostly weed management within the backyard, apply it now and set up a schedule for reapplication, normally at four- to six-week intervals

Garden: Start broadleaf weed management now by mid-Might. Set up sod in mid-April by Might. Apply preemergent crabgrass management within the subsequent few weeks. Fill in holes and low spots in garden and seed. Seed or overseed lawns now till mid-Might

Chores: Water any current plantings anytime we expertise per week with lower than an inch of rain. Repair broken screens and backyard hoses. Be aware broken caulking round doorways and home windows. Dump standing water and take away something which will acquire rainwater to assist management mosquito populations Present deer, rabbit and groundhog safety for susceptible crops. Reapply style or scent deterrents. Clear and fill chicken feeders frequently. Clear up spilled seed and empty hulls. Dump, scrub and refill birdbaths a minimum of as soon as per week. Take into account setting out nesting supplies when you’ve got them. Clear gutters and direct rainwater runoff away from home foundations.

Instruments, gear, and provides: Retailer winter gear and substitute or restore as wanted. Verify spring/summer season gear — restore or substitute broken or worn out instruments. Verify energy instruments and mowers and ship for service if wanted.

Security: Clear lawns of particles earlier than mowing and ensure pets, youngsters and others are properly away from the world being mown. Retailer backyard chemical substances indoors away from pets and youngsters. Discard outdated ones at native chemical assortment occasions. {Photograph} storm injury earlier than clearing or repairing for insurance coverage claims and file promptly. Anytime you might be outdoors and the temperatures are about 50°F or hotter look ahead to tick bites. Use an insect repellent containing Deet on the pores and skin. Apply a permethrin product to clothes. Put on light-colored clothes, lengthy sleeves, hats and lengthy pants when working within the backyard. Keep hydrated. Drink water or different non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic drinks. Even in chilly climate, apply sunscreen, put on hats and restrict publicity to solar. Put on closed-toe footwear and gloves; use eye safety; and use ear safety when utilizing any loud energy instruments.

Sue Kittek is a contract backyard columnist, author, and lecturer.  Ship inquiries to Backyard Keeper at [email protected] or mail: Backyard Keeper, The Morning Name, PO Field 1260, Allentown, PA 18105.

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