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Hartselle Enquirer

Springtime chores loom

What a difference two weeks can make when it comes to a seasonal change in the weather.  

It seems like only yesterday that I parked the riding lawnmower after using it to pick up the leaves in the front, back and side yards.  

Besides, it was only a couple of weeks ago when the ground was covered with 3-4 inches of snow and ice, and most of us were huddled inside trying to escape sub-freezing temperatures that remained below freezing for nearly a week. 

Then arrived two weeks of spring-like temperatures in late February and early March, and I was reminded that another grassmowing season is about to begin.  

The presence of wild onions, dandelions and clover together, with the first blooms of ornamental pear trees, leave little doubt that green grass is close at hand 

The upside of an early spring is that it could lower the utility bills of homeowners like me who depend on home heating on extremely cold days. The downside is several additional man hours of grass and weed trimming in a deep roadside drainage ditch in front of my house, in addition to edging my 150-foot driveway and patio. 

A number of years ago, Geanell and I decided planting ornamental shrubbery along our property lines would give our home more privacy and add to its property value. We chose yellow wisteria on one side and a combination of two redleaf varieties on the other side.  

What we didn’t consider was the amount of labor that would be required to maintain both plantings.  

Birds and squirrels use the foliage as their habitats and bring in seeds from wild plants and trees. The seeds germinate and grow quickly into unwanted bushes and trees that have to be removed every year. Age and disease have also taken their toll – and we have given consideration to removing the shrubbery and replacing it with green grass. 

An early spring also raises the possibility of farmers and gardeners growing, harvesting and selling their produce at local farmers markets earlier than usual. Markets overflowing with fresh, locallygrown fruits and vegetables are what we need to put COVID-19 in the past and get back to normal.