37 August 20, 2008

As much as we hate to admit it, fall is coming to our neck of the woods. Late summer and early fall are times that the critters begin to look for homes to spend the winter. It would appear that soon the flies will be in our homes, looking for a place to spend the winter. They have already made their annual invasion of the store. Thankfully, we all have good aim with fly swatters.

The main pest that gives so many people the creeps is when the mice show up in your home. Late summer into early fall, mice begin to look for a warm place to spend the winter. Most homes have enough tiny openings that allow mice to get into your home. Late last fall we told you about a relatively new product called Mouse Magic. This product is packets that are placed inside your home to repel mice from entering your house. We had a lot of positive feedback on this product. The packets last thirty day. From now until the time the ground freezes, you should be placing the Mouse Magic around your home to keep the mice at bay.

Late summer and fall is the time that the mice go looking for food. It is also one of the times that the hunt for food makes the mice easy prey for the ticks that carry Lyme disease. Last spring I told you about a product called Damminix. This product is placed around your yard in places where the mice will find the cotton balls that are part of the control. When the mice pick up the cotton balls, they also are being exposed to a tick killer that is on the cotton balls. The tick killer sticks to the mouse’s fur, and kills the ticks as they hitch a ride on the mouse. All indications are that the tick killer doesn’t affect the mouse. By killing the Lyme carrying ticks, you can greatly reduce the chances of contracting Lyme disease in your own yard. It is recommended that you place the Damminix tubes around your yard in the time frame of August thru September and again in early spring.

Our vegetable gardens should be very happy to see a week of sunshine and a period of relatively dry weather. However, the plants will need fertilizer to make new vegetables. You can use a granular fertilizer or you can use a water-soluble fertilizer to feed the plants. This will be particularly important on your tomato plants. As I have told you before, if tomatoes do not get enough potassium fertilizer, they will be very slow to ripen. People tend to forget that vegetable garden need fertilizer right up until the time the frost kills the plants. If you want to salvage a harvest from your garden, you had better be feeding your vegetable garden from now until the first frost.

Hardy Mums are now in many of the garden centers. Many people want mums to be a true perennial in their gardens. The secret to having hardy Mums come back next year is to get them into the ground early in the season. This gives the Mums time to get a root system out into the soil before the ground freezes. So, if you want hardy Mums to be hardy, get to planting.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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