51March 9, 2011

I have been amazed at how quickly the snow has melted. Warm temperatures, combined with rain and fog do tend to make the snow melt away!

As the snow melts away, we will eventually see our lawns again. The lawns will be very wet and you should not be walking on the lawn and you should not be raking the lawn until the lawn has had time to dry out. There are things you can and should do as soon as the snow melts and the ground dries a bit.

We have all used a lot of ice melting products this winter. Rock salt, in particular, can get into the soil as the snow melts. The rock salt will damage the roots of your lawn and many of your shrubs. If you apply horticultural gypsum to the soil, the salt won’t damage the roots of your plants and your lawn. You should apply gypsum along the side of walkways, driveways and along the drip line under the roof if you put ice melter on the roof to loosen up ice dams. Remember that the areas of your lawn along the edge of the road will also have been exposed to a lot of ice melting products. You should apply gypsum to these areas too.

I think that once we can see our lawns again, we will see that the moles and voles have been tunneling through the lawns all winter long. There are several mole and vole repellents that you can apply to the lawn that will drive the moles and voles away. These repellents come in both a granular and a liquid form. If you see the tunnels in your lawn, you should add this to the list of things to do as soon as you can walk on the lawn.

If you have moles and voles tunneling in your lawn, it may be a sign that there are grubs in your lawn. You can apply any number of different products to your lawn that will kill the grubs. Some of the products are organic and some are chemical controls. Before you jump to the conclusion that there are grubs in the lawn, you should go out to the lawn and carefully cut away a piece of the lawn. If you see grubs under the grass, you may need to treat for grubs. However, moles and voles may just be tunneling to eat any earthworms or benign insects that are over-wintering in the lawn.

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

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