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Underground pests - Japanese Beetle

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

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How Should I Manage the Bugs in My Lawn? Too often, when insects are spotted, they are instantly seen as invaders that must be attacked with various toxic chemicals. While such actions may take care of the immediate problem, they usually create a host of others in their wake. Today, an ecologically sound concept called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is receiving serious recognition and support among home gardeners, professional landscapers,…

The Origin of “Fairy Ring”

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Photo by Dr. Van Cline, Agronomist, The Toro Company The term “fairy ring” dates back to 1599 and comes from the folk belief that the rings were made by fairies or pixies dancing in a circle and wearing out the grass.

Golden pheasant

Dust, Not Just for the Birds!

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The birds reveling in the backyard dust know what they are doing.  Finely ground particles in such dust baths damage the exoskeletons of bothersome insects.  Diatomaceous earth, a dust used to control caterpillars, works on the same principle.  Composed of fossilized remains of single-celled plants called diatoms, a dust is formed by quarrying and processing these ancient deposits. This material does not bother people and animals, but it destroys the…

White Clover - not all weeds are bad

Not All Weeds are Bad

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Weeds are survivors designed to live in conditions that do not favor most other plants.  However, a “weed” is not always bad.  White clover, once considered a fashionable lawn plant, was re-classified as a weed because it did not look like grass.  White clover is pleasant to look at; it increases the nitrogen content of soils and helps to break up compaction. Today, as homeowners reconsider their definition of lawn…