Lawns, Gophers & Moles

Written by Thomas Leo Ogren

Continued from page 1

Skunks? Sometimes a grub-infested lawn will attract nighttime raids by skunks. The skunks (and occasionally raccoons too) will tear up pieces of your lawn as they dig uprepparttar grubs to eat. The solution here is muchrepparttar 113426 same as it is for getting rid ofrepparttar 113427 moles. Ifrepparttar 113428 moles eat up allrepparttar 113429 grubs in your lawn they’ll move on to a new grub-filled area. Of course, inrepparttar 113430 process they’ll tear up your lawn. So, what to do? The most obvious answer is to kill offrepparttar 113431 grubs inrepparttar 113432 lawn. These grubs are larvae from any number of insect pests, and inrepparttar 113433 lawn they are also important pests ofrepparttar 113434 lawn. Left unchecked,repparttar 113435 grubs may well destroy most of your lawn by themselves. There are a number of organic or inorganic methods of killing off lawn grubs. Floodingrepparttar 113436 lawn seems to help to bringrepparttar 113437 grubs up closer torepparttar 113438 surface, where they’ll be easier to kill. Look for sources of these bio-controls inrepparttar 113439 Links section of this book, under IPM. IPM is short for integrated pest management and it is often very effective and safe. Most ofrepparttar 113440 soil grubs are larvae of some kind or other of beetle. Ifrepparttar 113441 grubs are larvae of Japanese Beetles they can be attacked with Milky spore, which is an organic product that only attacks Japanese Beetles. There are bio-controls, safe biological agents that kill soil grubs. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes have shown good results for white grub control. Nematodes are tiny soil wireworms. This particular species will findrepparttar 113442 white grubs and kill them. These beneficial nematodes are available in mail order catalogs, often sold as Hb nematodes. They should be applied to already thoroughly watered lawns late inrepparttar 113443 day and then watered in immediately. These nematodes will not damagerepparttar 113444 lawn or other garden plants. Nematodes work fastest in sandy soils and slower in heavy, clay soils. Organic insecticides can also be used as a drench on your lawns and sometimes they’re quite effective. A mix of water, soap, pyrethrum and rotenone will often kill most ofrepparttar 113445 grubs. Even organic insecticides though will also kill off earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms. Chemical control For a chemical approach, a single treatment can be made between mid-July to mid-August. Commonly used chemical insecticides are chlorphyrifos (Dursban), carbaryl (Sevin), and soil diazinon. The pesticide must be watered intorepparttar 113446 soil well after use, or it won’t be effective. Keep in mind that none of these chemical insecticides are healthful forrepparttar 113447 family dog, cat,repparttar 113448 kids, or forrepparttar 113449 songbirds that might well eat some ofrepparttar 113450 chemically poisoned earthworms or grubs. Some lawn experts will recommend use ofrepparttar 113451 chemicals trichlorfon (Dylox), imidacloprid (Merit), or halofenozide (GrubEx) in mid-summer as a preventative measure against lawn grubs. Other preventative measures ·Keeping a lawn healthy won’t keep grubs and moles out of it, but a healthy lawn can recuperate much faster after attack. · Mowingrepparttar 113452 lawn too short will weaken a lawn and make it more easily damaged by grubs. Mowing higher promotes a stronger root system. There is evidence too that grubs, as with most insect pests, will attack an unhealthy lawn before they do a healthy one. ·Keepingrepparttar 113453 nitrogen levels up and maintaining a good amount of humus inrepparttar 113454 soil sometimes helps to lessenrepparttar 113455 chance of grub damage. Grubs will attack any species of lawn, althoughrepparttar 113456 worst damage is usually seen on bluegrass lawns. ·Aeratingrepparttar 113457 lawn makes for stronger roots and it also gives birds a better shot at picking out these grubs. Many birds that are attracted to our birdfeeders and suet feeders also will eat bothrepparttar 113458 grubs andrepparttar 113459 beetles thatrepparttar 113460 grubs come from. Encourage wild birds in your yard. ·When you water, water deeply. This will also help develop a stronger root system. ·Over-seed bluegrass lawns each spring with a mix of fescue or perennial ryegrass seed. Ifrepparttar 113461 grubs ruinrepparttar 113462 bluegrass, you’ll still have a lawn. ·In heavily grub-damaged lawns, take a rake and rakerepparttar 113463 exposed soil up; this will exposerepparttar 113464 grubs torepparttar 113465 birds. ·Soak grub infected areas with soapy water. Use a quart of liquid dish soap to several gallons of water and soakrepparttar 113466 lawn with this mix. It will kill grubs. ·Sometimes grubs can be held in check by dustingrepparttar 113467 lawn several times with diatomaceous earth. This safe product kills grubs that come torepparttar 113468 surface and eatrepparttar 113469 grass leaves. ·Lastly, some people put on those spiked strap on sandals and walk around on their lawn, spearing grubs as they walk. Of course they’re also aeratingrepparttar 113470 lawn atrepparttar 113471 same time. I have no idea how effective this method is, but hey, it can’t hurt.

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the American Lung Associations. He has appeared on CBS, HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website:

Vegetable Gardens & Organic Matter

Written by David Selman,

Continued from page 1

If alkaline compost is wanted, ground limestone can be spread inrepparttar pile atrepparttar 113425 same rate asrepparttar 113426 fertilizer. The compost pile will not decay rapidly untilrepparttar 113427 weather warms up in spring and summer. In midsummer, decay can be hastened by forking overrepparttar 113428 pile so moisture can get to parts that have remained dry. The compost should be ready for use byrepparttar 113429 end ofrepparttar 113430 first summer.

For a continuing supply of compost, a new pile should be built every year. Compost can be used as a mulch, or worked into flower beds andrepparttar 113431 vegetable garden. 

When properly prepared and thoroughly decayed, compost is not likely to harbor diseases or insects. Ifrepparttar 113432 compost is used in soil where an attempt is made to control plant diseases, or if it is mixed with soil used for raising seedlings,repparttar 113433 soil should be disinfected with chemicals recommended by your local Extension agent or State agricultural college.


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