It's early May and when the weather gets warmer, it's always nice to top off your yard beds with a 2 to 4 inch topping of mulch. It just makes everything look so much better. However, garden experts say you should wait to put down that mulch, otherwise you might end up with a mess.

According to Master Gardener Dave M, it's a good idea to wait for the seedlings to drop from the trees before you put down a new layer of mulch. "If you apply mulch before the seeds drop from the maple, then you have a more difficult time cleaning up any seeds to prevent the germination and resulting weed trees," said Dave M. "If you apply the mulch after seed drop, then you do have the opportunity to clean up those seeds before applying the mulch, resulting in less weed problems. Failure to clean up the dropped seeds before mulching actually would encourage the seeds to germinate since they would have good contact with soil or organic matter (the mulch)."

Maple Copters

Photography of a handful of dried maple fruits on slate backgrou
Sylvie Barbier aka Cala Mitysyl Stock Motion Array

Most Maple Trees in our region will shed their seeds in May, which is why many gardeners recommend that you avoid mulching until late May or early June. Sugar Maple trees in a good year can literally blanket your mulch bed with seeds after a good rain or wind storm.

By the way, the Maple seeds or "Copters" are meant to break from the tree and swirl to the ground, and fly away from the mother tree. This is why these seeds are such a nuisance, because they travel and blanket beds with seeds that will quickly turn into tree seedlings.

The 35 Poorest Counties in New York State

Our friends at 27/7 WallSt have done it again. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, the website identified the 35 poorest counties in New York State.

Data included poverty levels, unemployment numbers, overall population, and median household incomes. Can you guess which county came in at #1?

Gallery Credit: Megan

A Look Inside Exit 31 Exotic, Utica's First Marijuana Dispensary

Townsquare Utica was on scene for the grand opening of Exit 31 Exotic, Utica's first officially licensed pot shop. The store is located at 255 Genesee Street in Downtown Utica.

Gallery Credit: Megan

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New York State

While New York is certainly home to a plethora of hidden gems and breathtaking sights, Road Snacks has highlighted the state's most undesirable spots.

As for what determines what makes a city or town one of the "worst" places to live, Road Snacks compared 163 cities with 5,000 or more residents, to find those with the lowest median home value, weakest school districts, and highest rates of unemployment and crime. In short, the survey ranked cities and towns based off their economic performance and opportunity for growth, which Road Snacks says impacts the quality of life of its residents.

In the end, these 10 cities were deemed to be the worst New York State has to offer. That said, the company is not calling these cities bad - so if you have an issue, take it up with Road Snacks. We're just reporting their findings.

Gallery Credit: Megan

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