How to Identify Lawn Pests

Depending on what type of pests are destroying your yard, you will need different traps to catch them. Once you have them trapped, you can decide what kind of pest you have and what to do about them. Some small mammals do not have to be trapped in order to identify them. You can distinguish what they are by the damage they have done.

A good way to identify burrowing insects is to measure out a one foot square piece of sod. Try to select a piece that is only partially yellowed or browned. Typically, the offenders will have moved on to the next piece of healthy sod to eat the roots there. Using a shovel, dig up the square of grass and soil. Make sure you go a minimum of two inches below the grass level, and four inches is even better. Overturn the square of sod onto a large tarp or piece of cardboard and probe into the roots. You should find some earthworms, and you may also find small black bugs, called chinch bugs, and grubs. Earthworms are a beneficial species, so try to replace them in the soil or in your compost heap. Grubs and chinch bugs are extremely destructive. Destroy all that you find by tossing them in a bucket of water and prepare to have your lawn sprayed to remove these problematic insects and insect larvae.


Glue traps are another way to find out what insects call your yard their home. A rat and mouse glue trap, weighted down to prevent it from flying away, will attract and catch a wide variety of crawling and flying insects. You are most likely to catch crickets, chinch bugs, grasshoppers and beetles that you can then identify. The occasional moth and butterfly can get stuck to the trap, so it’s a good idea to only leave them out for about 24 hours.

To check for a variety of invasive cutworms and larvae, mix about 2 teaspoons of dish liquid into a gallon of water. Pour it onto a poor-doing one-foot square section of your lawn, and wait for creatures to float to the surface. This method will usually yield a variety of crawling and burrowing insects and insect larvae.

Once you have used these methods to identify what pests are destroying your lawn, you can work with a lawn care professional or exterminator to develop a plan. Getting rid of lawn pests can be an intensive process and require a significant time and monetary investment. Knowing what pests you have that are doing the most damage can help you concentrate your resources on the most damaging pests.…

Fall Gardening Tips

Most fair weather gardeners love to work in spring. They spend hours cleaning their yards and planting new bulbs and plants. However, most people do not realize that fall is often the best time of the year for gardening. You can also save significantly on equipment and new plants as most nurseries as they prepare for the impending cold months. It is also a great time to build a good compost bin. You will have ample raw material in form of fallen and raked leaves in your yard. In fact, cleaning your yard is often the best way to begin your fall gardening regimen. The fallen leaves can be shredded and converted in to mulch as well. Add the mulch to roots of the plants to keep them warm during winter.


Fall is also a great time to plant trees, shrubs and other perennial plants. Unlike spring, the soil is nice and warm. The temperatures are mild. The increasing rain also helps plants to establish themselves before the cold months of dormancy. You will also find a great stock of perennials at your local nursery during this time. However, you do not always have to buy new plants. Fall is the ideal time to divide the existing mature perennials and transplant them to other spots in your garden. The method of division and transplantation will vary depending on your plant and the climate. Do your research before beginning the process.

Lawn care is an important aspect of fall gardening. Apply a good herbicide to kill all the broad-leaved weeds. Mow the lawn as and when required to maintain a 2 to 2-1/2 inch length. Grasses that are taller than 3 inches are more likely to suffer winter diseases. Very short grass does not have the ability to produce and store food for the cold months. You will also do well to add a good winterizing fertilizer to your lawn. Rake the leaves regularly. Thick layer of leaves on the grass can damage the lawn underneath. It can also lead to the accumulation of phosphates and nitrates on the grass and in the near-by water bodies.


End of fall is also the time to prune your roses and bring in the potted plants that cannot survive in the extreme winters. Little yard work during the fall months can do wonders to your garden during the warm months. Your lawn and plants will be ready to grow immediately in spring and flourish well in the growing season. Hence, fall gardening is much more than saving money and aesthetics. It should be an important aspect of every gardener’s regimen.


How To Add A Slow Drip Underground Soaker

Whether you have a vegetable garden, a flower garden, or just a yard that you want to be as lush and green as possible, keeping the vegetation properly irrigated is the key to success. While the most common way of watering an area in your yard may be to use a traditional sprinkler, is not necessarily the most effective way to get the job done. An underground soaker delivers water right to the roots of the plants rather than letting the majority of the water evaporate, as is the case if you use a sprinkler.

While the idea of adding a slow drip underground soaker may seem like a complicated are daunting task, the truth is that it is surprisingly easy to set up this type of system completely on your own, even if you do not consider yourself to be incredibly handy around the house.

To start with, you will want to install a Y fitting at the spigot that you’re going to be using that way you do not have to remove the irrigation hose if you need to use the spigot for some other purpose. This is also the time to consider adding a battery timer to automate the system so that you do not have to worry about remembering to turn your irrigation on and off. In most of the communities out there, the municipal water supply is under relatively high pressure, which makes purchasing a pressure regulator a good idea.

Using half-inch tubing will provide you with the best results in most situations. If you are just going to be installing the irrigation system in a straight line, the entire process will be fast and easy. If, on the other hand, you have a complex network of plants that you want to ensure get adequate water, you will need to use fittings to connect different pieces of tubing in order to navigate around your plants.

About every 4 feet, you should use a stake to hold the tube in place and you should punch a hole in the tubing near every plant. A 1/4 inch transfer barb can then be placed in the hold you have punched and connected to 1/4 inch tubing.

Once you have laid out your tubing and are certain that you will be able to provide adequate irrigation to all of the vegetation that you are concerned about, it is absolutely crucial that you take the proper steps in order to seal off the end of the tube. Probably the most effective way of doing this is to use a figure 8 fitting to securely kink the tubing at the end so that you are not wasting or losing water.

The entire process of installing this type of system can generally be done in an afternoon and the results speak themselves as you watch your plants grow and thrive even if the weather is not cooperating. No matter what type of plants you are growing, a drip irrigation system will save you money, time, and virtually guarantee your gardening success.…