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Cultural Measures Count

Improve Your Lawn’s Health

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Ever wonder how to keep weeds from growing in your lawn and when to fertilize? Here are some key tips:. Cut at the right height To promote healthier grass, mowing at to the right height is helpful in preventing weeds because keeping your turf longer helps block sunlight from weed seeds waiting to germinate. When weed seeds are evident, catch your grass clippings and dispose of them, rather than redistributing them on the…

go green

Go Green

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Save money and save the environment.  Did you know recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for 3-hours?  You can make a difference by just considering the following: Disposing of your garbage properly Recycle to save our resources and helping the community Saving energy resources Performing a home energy audit Composting kitchen and yard waste Protecting the water supply Creating drought tolerant landscape Buying energy saving appliances…

Weed Removal

The Nitty-Gritty of Weed Removal

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Prevention through appropriate cultural methods is your first line of defense against weeds, but eventually there comes a time when you need to roll up your sleeves and get after them.  On small areas, the old-fashioned approach is the best—pulling out by hand. Hand weeding may take a little bit longer than using selective herbicides, but it is a lot better than worrying about kids and pets getting into the…

Watch What You Step On

Watch What You Step On

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It pays to know what insects look like throughout their life cycle, because they change form as they grow in a process called metamorphosis.  Born with rigid or semi-rigid outer skins, insects would have a difficult time growing if they were not able to shed this covering as they outgrew it.  Some insects—such as beetles, lacewings, and moths—start life as larvae and evolve to an intermediate stage called pupae.  After…

Mechanical Bug Removal

Mechanical Bug Removal

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When pests are visible and large enough, removing them via the “pick and squash” method is an option for the non-squeamish.  Try the following on insects you cannot see. For chinch bugs, prepare a soap drench with 2-tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and 2-gallons of water in a watering can.  Thoroughly water an off-color patch of lawn, and then cover it with a flannel sheet.  Wait 15 minutes; then scrape clinging…

Earthworms are More than Fish Bait

Earthworms – More Than Bait

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Abundant in moist, heavy soils, earthworms are a natural component of healthy lawns.  Their diet of dirt, organic matter, and excrete plant litter in the form of a rich digestive by-product called castings.  These small, hardened piles are scattered across the ground.  While initially felt underfoot, castings will eventually break down, providing your lawn with a dose of natural fertilizer.  You can also buy worm castings for this purpose. In…

Beneficial Insects

Create a Garden to Attract Beneficial Insects

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To encourage high beneficial insect populations design your garden to incorporate a variety of flowering plants rich in nectar and pollen.  Choose cultivars with easily accessible pollen found in plants with a single layer of petals or a tubular flower form.  Common herbs, wildflowers, and scented plants are all attractive to beneficial insects.  Do not clear out dead foliage in the fall, this is an important habitat for beneficial over…

Green Earth

Earth Day

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Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.  Founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first Earth Day was an environmental teach-in on April 22, 1970.  The first Earth Day was focused on the United States, however an organization launched by Denis Hayes took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.  Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth…

Nematode - Biological Insecticides

Nematodes

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Predatory nematodes attack lawn pests such as billbugs, sod webworms, and white grubs. Nematodes are parasites that kill hosts, such as this grub, within 48-hours.  Some nematodes attack surface pests; others attack soil-dwelling pests.  Choose the correct type for your pest. Nematodes arrive by mail in a sponge.  To apply, place the sponge in a container of cold water and wring it several times to release the nematodes.  Apply with…

Underground pests - Japanese Beetle

Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an Eco-Friendly Approach

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Too often people see insects as invaders to be attacked with various toxic chemicals.  While such actions may take care of the immediate problem, they usually create a host of others.  Today, an ecologically sound concept called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is receiving serious recognition and support among home gardeners, professional landscapers, and scientists.  With IPM, the yard is as an ecosystem with components that are interdependent and where every…