Lawn Disease and SolutionsWritten by Linda Paquette
Every lawn, whether new or established, is susceptible to a variety of lawn diseases. Most lawn disease starts with a fungus. Fungi are an oddity because they don’t set seeds; instead, they propagate by distributing spores in their surrounding area. Some of spores are picked up by wind or animals and distributed in new locations.
One of biggest problems in controlling lawn diseases is diagnosis. By time signs of infection are evident, fungus that causes it is often difficult to control. Although there are dozens of types of lawn disease, most can be prevented through regular lawn care. Most fungus spores lie dormant until conditions are right for them to grow and infect your lawn. Generally, fungus spores need warm temperatures, a moist environment, a source of nutrition and a susceptible host. Although you can’t control weather, you can deprive them of nutrients they need as well as a susceptible host.
Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to deprive fungus of damp environment it needs. In addition to helping prevention of lawn disease, deep and infrequent watering encourages your turf to sink deeper roots. Water only when surface soil is dry to your touch and then water to a depth of two to three inches. You can gauge how much water your lawn is getting by “planting” a small container (such as a tuna or cat food can) in a corner of your yard. In addition, schedule irrigation in morning to give excess water a chance to evaporate.
Lawn Moles and proper Lawn CareWritten by Linda Paquette
Are your making mountains out of your molehills? Although lawn moles are underground creatures, benefits they add to your garden are clearly visible and far outweigh disadvantages.
Of six species of mole found in North America, Eastern mole (or gray mole) is most common. Moles are about size of chipmunks and weigh from three to six ounces. A tiny creature, its total length is just six to eight inches.
Many gardeners and groundskeepers are under mistaken impression that lawn moles eat roots of their plants and turf grasses. However, moles are insectivores. Their primary diet is earthworms and grubs and a single mole can eat more than 140 grubs and cutworms daily. They also feast on destructive garden pests like snails, beetles, and millipedes. In fact, at just over a quarter-pound, a mole can consume 45 to 50 pounds of worms and insects each year.
The greatest harm that mole tunneling does to turf grass is by separating soil from roots. Still, mole’s digging actually improves soil quality by turning and aerating soil and mixing accumulated nutrients throughout excavation.
Moles don’t continually dig each time they forage for food. Once a tunnel system is established, it is infrequently extended. In fact, only signs of mole activity you might see are those when mole must repair its construction. When disturbed, moles may temporarily vacate area, but generally return within a week or two. In addition, when a tunnel is abandoned, a new mole inhabitant will “recolonize” using handiwork of its predecessor.