It’s Groundhog Day and why 100 + million households should care.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

It is Groundhog Day today and what does that mean for me and why should I care? And why should the 100+ million other households with a lawn or garden care? Our ever all-knowing Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and winter is predicted to shake the chilly hibernation early. We are looking at spring conditions in just 4 weeks. 

With having 4 kids and dealing with all the winter flu and viruses, this is a much needed bit of good news this morning, but as I drink my coffee and look at my yard, I know there is a fast approaching issue that lies underneath outside. After years of growing up on farm and learning from generations of stubborn and hard-headed farmers, I know all too well that you must prepare to reap what you sow. And Punxsutawney Phil reminds me that I should be preparing to sow because I have a farm right outside my door – my yard. I have grass, bushes, flowers, and fruit trees and I better get prepared…spring is 4 weeks away and what should I be doing for my mini outside farm?

The soil works 24/7, it is living and responsible for all that grows in my yard. In the fall and winter of 2019, my turf and vegetation went and grabbed, for winter storage, as much potassium and other essential nutrients out of the soil to uptake into the blades to help prepare to sustain the winter conditions. With the fall uptake, winter leaching rains, time and other conditions, my soil is about to jump start my spring green up, or better yet what the lawn care industry calls “actively growing turf conditions” and I am not sure what nutrients are left to help with that kick off. And the pairing subsequent question, “Is the pH at a sweet spot to utilize all the nutrients, should the nutrients exist in the soil at all?” 

So as I still see winter dormancy in my yard and I am nurturing two sick babies back from the flu, I know today is the day that I take the kids outside to do a soil sample. Why? Because they need some Vitamin D and because Punxsutawney Phil reminds us every year for the news we much await – it is almost that time again – spring is pending and we need to be #springready. Thing is, this year, my furry and little groundhog friend has given me only 4 weeks, and not 6, to be ready.