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Nancy's Almanac, Sept. 13, 2013: Good time to start windbreaks

Nancy's Almanac, Sept. 13, 2013: Good time to start windbreaks

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Fall is the best time to prepare ground for a windbreak, said University of Nebraska professor of forestry Jim Brandel.

Brandel said breaking up the sod now for spring planting will allow winter to also work its magic on the soil. The freeze-thaw cycle will help break up the soils, and the period between now and spring will allow the broken-up soil to mellow, he said.

Additionally, the ground will be ready earlier for planting. If you wait until spring to break up the ground, you'll need to wait until the ground dries out enough to work the soil. Working in soil when it's too wet can destroy the soil structure.

By breaking up the ground now, it will dry more quickly in the spring and you'll be able to get into the area more quickly. As a result, your seedlings will get an earlier start when there might be more moisture and cooler weather.

Finally, if you need another reason: your local Nebraska Natural Resource District and your local community forester with the Nebraska Forest Service can work with you now to plan your wind break. Tree orders through the NRDs usually begin in the fall, so the outdoor work will get you in the frame of mind to do the indoor planning and ordering that needs to be done, he said.

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