53February 24, 2016

As the snow was melting in the backyard, I could see those telltale lines. The lines were about 2 inches wide and the lines sort of “rambled “ across the lawn. The moles or voles had been tunneling around the yard. These two creatures may be mistaken for a mouse if you happen to see one above ground. They are however not mice. Their goal in life is to dig tunnels looking for food. If you get a winter were the ground freezes solid before the snow arrives, you probably won’t see the mole trails under the snow. If the ground is frozen solid, they can’t dig their tunnels. This was the winter where the ground didn’t freeze before the snow hit. Come the spring, you will find that those tunnels may collapse leaving you with a lawn full of ruts. The tunnels that are near your shrubs may mean that the roots of the shrub are damaged. In some cases, the tunneling may kill the roots of the lawn or the roots of the shrub have been so damaged that the shrub may die. This will, of course mean that you have to re-seed the lawn in the spring or re-plant new shrubs. There are some effective mole and vole repellents that you can put on your lawn. If you see the tunnels on your lawn, you should apply the repellent as soon as the soil dries a bit in the spring.

The last light snow brought fresh footprints to the backyard. The deer were looking for the birdseed that had fallen on the ground. With our husky being in the backyard for bathroom breaks, you would think that the deer would stay away. Once the late night rolls around, the deer come out and the husky is inside dreaming away. This means that if the deer are roaming around our neighborhood, then they may be active in your neighborhood. If you have seen their footprints or if you see feeding damage to your shrubs, it is time to apply a deer repellent to your shrubs. Deer will eat many of our ornamental shrubs. They are particularly fond of arborvitae. The deer repellents work best when applied before the damage occurs. If you do see damage, you should apply a deer repellent as soon as possible. Deer can strip a plant down to a much smaller size in one night of feeding. One of the problems you will find is that some deer repellents work better than others. We carry several different types in the store. If deer are a problem in your yard, stop by and we will help you to pick out a repellent that should work in your yard.

Well, that’s all for this week. Next week is the beginning of March. Soon we will all be planting pansies! I’ll talk to you again next week.

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