Outdoor Living Show Brings in Iowans Eager for Spring

By Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - If you're one of many people eagerly anticipating spring, you may have found yourself at this weekend's Outdoor Living Show at Hawkeye Downs. Vendors brought landscaping ideas and the latest mowers to display.

From brick ovens to brick patios, there are plenty of projects to occupy your time this spring.

"It's been a long winter, and it's nice to see people getting out and coming out to the show," said Kevin Manternach, owner of Outdoor Creations.

But he said a deep ground frost and a thick snow cover could delay plans for planting and other outdoor activities.

"It's going to slow everything up a little bit," Manternach explained. "Once the sun shines and the snow's gone, everybody's going to be eager to get out and get going with things, but we're going to have to wait until some of that frost comes out of the ground before we can do a whole lot."

As soon as temperatures allow, Manternach said creating outdoor living spaces with fire pits and water fountains are popular this year. If it's gardening you're wanting to get into, keep a close eye on plants that went into the ground last fall, as frost heaves could be a big problem.

"If you plant plants in the fall, they need to have gotten their roots established, to keep the frost from heaving them," said Devon Dietz, with Linn County Master Gardeners.

Jeff Gonzalez of TruGreen said you should also pay close attention to your lawn as things thaw out, especially if you let it grow last fall.

"A lot of times at the end of the year, people don't mow before winter, and if their grass is long, it's going to be susceptible to problems because there's not enough airflow going through it," Gonzalez explained.

Problems include snow mold and different types of fungus that can creep into grass roots.

"Getting a good fertilization right off the bat, to get it out of dormancy," said Gonzalez.
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