If you have an automated sprinkler system for your lawn, you need to check that our hard frost times are over before you turn the system on for the season. If you drained the systems properly in the fall, you need to reverse the process now by closing all vent lines and then turn off valves you opened in the fall and open those that you closed in the fall.
Once that is done, turn the system to operate and see if you have any broken or leaking sprinkler heads. If so, then you should replace those before you continue to water your lawn.
After you have established that the system is working properly you need to set up your timer to come on at the correct times for your watering schedule for your area of town. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is going to allow us to water three times a week, which I think isn’t needed, but check with TMWA as to when your area is going to be allowed to water. My lawn has done fine with two watering days per week. Plus, with the third watering day, you’ll be paying more for your watering than you did in the past as you will be using more water. There’s no free lunch, is there?
TMWA made a pact with the local municipalities several years ago that when a certain percentage of the area was on water meters, the community would be allowed to water three rather than two times a week. That percentage has been met so we now have three watering days a week as a result.
Now that we’ve got the lawn raring to go, it’s time to take care of your fruit trees if you have any.
Fruit trees should have been pruned in January or February, but now will work, too. It’s not ideal, but if you want to bear fruit it needs to be done. Basically, when you prune any tree you should try to stop vertical growth and promote horizontal spread as much as possible. In the matter of fruit trees, it will keep the tree lower to the ground and much easier to harvest the fruit. Additionally, if you stop vertical growth, hopefully it will cause more fruit to be developed. Any sucker type branches that are developing that will make the interior of the tree crowded should be taken off. This will open up the interior of the tree to sunlight and generally promote good growth. You don’t want any branches rubbing on each other, either, as this will cause further problems down the road for your tree.
A dormant spray should be applied before the buds appear because this will kill any parasites like the leaf curlers, which will invade the developing fruit and cause you to not have good fruit later. A local nursery or garden shop can give you details on the make-up of this dormant spray and when to spray after the blossoms fall off.
If it is all done right, you’ll have lots of fruit this fall and you will be able to enjoy your healthy lawn this spring and summer. Sit back and relax and enjoy your yard.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at email@example.com.