Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'.
Early May is a good time to plant grass seed, but for good results you need to rough up the soil first. Unfortunately, this exposes crabgrass and other weed seeds that will sprout right along with your new grass. To stop most weed seeds, apply a specially formulated version of pre-emergence herbicide right after seeding. The label must state clearly that it's meant for newly seeded lawns, otherwise it will kill desired grass seeds, too.
Attract butterflies to your yard by planting many good nectar-producing flowers. Include coneflowers, Russian sage, Joe-Pye weed, butterfly weed (Asclepias), beebalm, catmint, Mexican sunflower, and single or semi-double zinnias. Though butterfly larvae (caterpillars) may feed on your plants, don't use any insecticides in the garden. And don't put up "butterfly houses" unless you enjoy them as garden art... butterflies will never inhabit them!
The Yard and Garden News will be going back to a twice-monthly format for the summer! See you on the 15th!
Yard and Garden News Editor: Karl Foord
Technical Editor: Bridget Barton