Thursday, 28 March 2013

Get rid of garden moles the easy way

Every year in spring, there are many American homeowners who will begin their annual battle against one particular lowly animal. You maybe an animal lover, but it can get frustrating to watch a mole tear up your beautiful garden or yard which you had taken pains to develop over the course of the year. They are very good at hiding and will make tunnels in various spots that will completely destroy the look of your garden or yard. You must take care of the problem immediately or the damage is sure to continue. Moles don’t eat plants but only earthworms and grubs. The damage done by a mole is very evident as their tunneling in pursuit of worms and small insects will detach the roots of your grass, expose soil to the growth of weeds and of course leave a very lumpy looking lawn. Moles will leave shallow surface ridges or small tunnels as well as mounds of dirt above the grounds surface with visible holes in the center. The main reason they make a home in your outdoor space is because they have been driven or crowded out by other constructions elsewhere. They are woodland creatures and a development in their habitat forces them into our space. 

So how do you get rid of moles from your garden or lawn the easy way? Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind in case you find these critters in your home:
  • Never overwater your lawn – So many homeowners do the mistake of overwatering their garden and find that they are attracting moles and not their neighbors. Moles are water animals, so it’s natural that they like wet soil. It’s relatively easier for them to dig and food is also available for them all the time.
  • Castor oil sends moles scurrying elsewhere – This all-natural product never harms moles and it also very good for the lawn. By spreading the granules over badly affected areas, you can dictate the direction you want the animal to go. You should water the area well to activate the scent. Another important point to remember is to start spreading granules from a point farthest from the spot where you want them to leave. This process is called herding. Cover one-third of the starting point of your yard with granules and water well. A few days later, cover the next third of the area and few days after that cover the remaining portion and water well.
  • Get rid of tiny grubs – It is almost a 100% certainty that you have grubs in your garden soil if a mole has moved in.
  • Buy traps and place them in areas where the mole is active – For a mole trap to be successful, you need to find the mole’s active tunnels or simply put the areas where it is most active. You can check by jumping on the center of the tunnel. In another 24 hours, you will find that the animal has rebuilt that particular area. The traps need to be checked daily and the animal should be removed once it is caught.
  • Flood the mole out of the tunnels – Once you have found the active tunnel, you can place the end of a hose pipe into it and turn the water on so that you can watch for the animal to escape.
These small critters can cause a lot of damage and you will know for sure if it is a mole by witnessing the damage they do to your outdoor space. You have perhaps invested a lot of time, effort and money in preparing your home – to simply look beautiful or for the market in the long term. Let not the moles waste your efforts.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

5 tips for taking care of your garden

Do you regard gardening as a hobby or a duty you can’t seem to get out of? Ever wondered what your garden looks like from an outsider’s point of view? Does it have beautiful flowering plants, trees, a lush green lawn and other landscaping features? Whatever you may have in your garden, you will always have some questions unanswered when it comes to taking care of it month after month in every different season.

Fortunately, you have answers right here like choosing the right plants to fertilizing, watering, maintaining the landscape and protecting it from pests. Having a beautiful looking garden does not come easily without time and effort. Some homeowners find it difficult to devote some of their leisure time to their gardens, which in turn will consequently suffer from lack of care and maintenance. However, with a little time and effort the resulting look of your outdoor space can achieve great results. 

Here are five important tips listed below to help you maintain your garden yourself without too much time, effort and money.

Choose the right plants and trees

The first step to starting a gardening project is to become familiar with the flora and fauna around you. If you don’t choose the right kind of plants or trees, your garden may become messy and rather unkempt in appearance. Specific types of plants require special attention when it comes to watering and pruning. So knowledge of maintaining them requires a conscious effort. You need to consider what plants will grow well in your garden by taking the weather and location into consideration.

Positioning plants and trees is also vital for the overall appearance as taller plants can overshadow smaller ones or even eradicate them if not planted the right way. It is also beneficial to choose a nutrient soil for planting so that they grow and flourish all year long.

Composting a garden 

There are many methods you can use to make your garden blossom and one such way is to compost it. It may take some initial hard work from your end but the abundance of benefits you get is worth it. Composting is considered as ‘black gold’ as it increases the quantity of nutrients available in the soil for the plants and trees.

If you are willing to care for your garden by composting it as suggested, then your plants are sure to grow healthy and live longer. You can make your own compost by using a mixture of green organic material like fruit rind, lawn clippings and brown organic material like dead leaves, manure and twigs. Add water to the mixture as moisture is important to support the composting process.

Buy good quality gardening tools 

Keeping your garden looking beautiful throughout the year depends on a little investment like buying good quality gardening tools. You can organize and develop a good technique to do the right things at the right time. This may take a bit more of your time but once the basics are understood then it becomes easier in the future.

To start off, you can buy the right kind of equipment which comprises of spades, hoes, pruners, rakes and a sturdy wheelbarrow. Always buy the best gardening tools you can afford as there is no substitute for quality. If you buy cheap equipment that are half the price then they will last for very little time and will not be cost-effective in the long run. Also if there is project at hand, they may fail to deliver when you need them most. 

Pay attention to the soil 

Of all the things that make up your garden, the soil is considered to be the most important component. The healthiness of the soil is generally evaluated on texture and fertility, the former being the size of the soil particles and their consistency and the latter being the combination of essential nutrients and a pH that makes it available for the trees and plants. To promote deeper rooting and help the grass and plants to stay healthy, aerification must be done to create more air space in the soil.

Airing the soil is an important task for garden care. During dry, hot spells, it is essential to water your lawns and plants. The best time to do so would be early in the morning or late in the evening. For maintaining healthy plants and luscious lawn, watering and airing the soil plays a crucial role in preventing your garden from wilting and drying up.

Protect your garden from pests

Controlling garden critters is necessary especially if you don’t want to use chemicals to eradicate them. Garden pests just love the gatherings of their favourite foods which may be your flowers, plants or vegetables and fruits. It's about striking that crucial balance between protecting your garden and the environment. To encourage natural biological control you can use organic substances to manage pests. Strong smelling substances like tobacco, garlic rhubarb are used to repel insects. Many plants give off natural odors which many bugs and insects find unpleasant to thrive in.

You can spray concoctions made from these plants in certain areas. Chillies, salt, kerosene or methylated spirits will also burn and kill pests. To suffocate soft-bodies pests, use vegetable oil, mineral oil and other proprietary oils. A mixture of soap, detergent and water can be sprayed in small amounts so that they stick to plants and repel insects. Physical barriers like traps, netting, plant collars, etc. are also useful in deterring pests.