Gardeners have left the warm comfort of the house, and the impacts of winter are very evident as we do that “walk about” the yard and begin to formulate spring gardening plans. Master Gardener Help Desks have been open for a couple of weeks already with a lot of questions.

Q: I have noticed “runs” in the lawn, focusing near the bird feeder and then going in all directions. What is it?

It's that time of year. Ready, set… and wait. 

The winter snows are all gone and recent snows are not going to last long as we have more and more days above freezing temperatures. There is a general feeling that we should be outside doing “something” in the yard. While we continue to experience weather that is warm one day, cold and snowy the next, there are some really basic gardening tasks that can be done. Do these on a dry day or while the ground remains frozen in the early part of the day.

Seasonally, questions to Extension though phone calls, visits to the office, and via email naturally slow down. It has consistently been colder so virtually all outside activities are done for the season. We do get some late season questions and the start of winter indoor related questions coming in:

How do you handle wildlife in your yard? Do you welcome the birds, squirrels, and other critters, or do all you can to discourage them from visiting? If you are a birder, you can expect to see four-legged critters visiting often too.