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.…

How To Prune Your Trees In The Fall

Pruning is a great way to help your plant grow well and thrive. You may choose to prune your trees and shrubs for a variety of reasons. It can help you remove diseased or damaged branches; promote air circulation and improved growth; lower the height of the tree; remove branches that may injure someone or obstruct their way; and shape the tree for aesthetic purposes. Fall and winter are the best seasons to prune your trees, although you should remove dead branches whenever you see them. Pruning during the cold months lowers the loss of sap from the trees, and in turn, reduces the stress they experience during the process. The trees do not have leaves. This may help you view the branches clearly and prune effectively.


Many of you may also worry about the number of branches you should trim at a particular time. It is important to prune as little as possible. This will reduce the stress on the tree. Most experts recommend pruning less than 25 percent of the crown at one time. At least two-thirds of the branches should be made up of living branches. Storms and bug infestations may force you to cut more. Try to limit the pruning as much as possible. You may go ahead and prune the tree yourself. However, it is best to hire a licensed arborist to handle large trees and heavy saws.

If you decide to prune yourself, you should try to prune the unwanted branch while protecting the trunk. Begin by cutting the branch side of the stem collar. This will protect the branches growing from it. Your tree will heal faster as well. A small, angled cut on the branch can prevent the bark of the stem from tearing. Cut from the top of the branch all the way through the branch.

Seek professional help if you are confused and your tree is in a peculiar location. Professionals will have the right tools to handle every situation. Common equipment includes rope saws, pole pruner and lopper, folding pruner, and portable buck saws. You may also try to rent them from a local gardening or hardware store. You should also learn about your tree, and make sure it does not have any specific requirements related to pruning. Do your homework before taking up the task.

How Much To Water Your Lawn

Your lawn is one of the most important parts of your home. It has a big impact on how your neighbors and guests view your property, how well you enjoy it, and more. Keeping it lush and green is important, and a big part of that is figuring out just how often and how much to water the lawn. There are plenty of variables that come into play, and sometimes getting an exact answer isn’t easy to do. But there are a few guidelines that will help you figure out just what the right amount of water is.


For starters, you need to understand that over watering is just as bad for your lawn as under-watering it is. Too much water can cause fungus or disease to set in on your grass and could kill it just as fast as a long period of dry weather. With that in mind, you need to remember to never water too much.

Simply put, there is no simple answer to this question. The key to figuring out how much to water your lawn is really to determine the different signs that your lawn needs water and then adjust your watering plan based on that. Look for wilting on the blades of grass, or for a blue-gray tint that could set in on your lawn. If you see those signs, or yellowing grass, you certainly need to water it.


The general rule of thumb is that your lawn needs 1 to 2 inches of water per week, and that the water needs to reach a depth of about 6 inches. Start by setting out either a rain gauge or some kind of container to catch water – a tuna can is perfect for this. Turn on your sprinklers and let them run for about a half hour. Then, measure your water amount. You’re looking for about half an inch of water. Then check the depth with a probe or screwdriver. If it plunges into the lawn easily, you’re done with your watering. If not, you may need to continue up to one solid inch.

Different types of grass require different amounts, and you’ll want to look into exactly what your species requires. Also try to avoid standing pools of water or large streams of runoff. This is a sign that you need to switch off the sprinklers and let the water soak into the ground for a while.…