The Press-Dispatch

April 11, 2018

The Press-Dispatch

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The Press-Dispatch Spring Home and Garden Wednesday, April 11, 2018 D-3 No annual fee. Annual percentage rate is accurate as of 4/2/18 and applies to new Home Equity accounts. The annual percentage rate in effect is 4.75% with loan-to-value of 80% or less and a credit score of 720 or above. If your credit score is lower than 720 and/or your loan-to-value is higher, your interest rate may be higher. Interest rate is variable and subject to change. APR will not exceed 21% or the maximum rate allowed by applicable law. Requires a checking account with us. Subject to credit and underwriting approval. Property Insurance is required. $250 early termination fee if account is closed within 12 months of account opening. Use the equity in your home to secure a line of credit to use for all of your spring home improvement projects. * NO ANNUAL FEE. Pay no interest for 90 days! Talk to a Consumer Lender today to make a smart home equity choice! (812)354-8471 • SMARTEST HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT freshen up any home improvement project .75 % 4 Variable Thereafter* 310 W. Morton St., Oakland City 812-749-4500 Country Home DÉCOR & MORE Green and Blooming Plants, Willow Tree Angels, Garden Flags, Garden Decor, Candles and more! Mother's Day • MAY 13 Make their day with fresh flowers or spring plants. Stop in and see what is new in Steve's Woodshop. Flowers, Gifts & Country Gatherings GARDENS & LAWNS Burrowing wildlife can damage your lawn and garden Soft, spongy lawns may be indicative of various prob- lems under- foot that occur relatively sight unseen. Bar- ring a septic system back- up or consider- able flooding, insects or ani- mals may be to blame. In many ar- eas, burrow- ing wildlife can wreak havoc on landscapes. I d e n t i f y i n g which critter is causing the damage helps h o m e ow n e r s develop the most effective solutions to is- sues involving wildlife. MOLES Moles will spend much of their lives underground, rarely coming up to the surface. They spend their days digging long tunnels from their dens in search of grubs, earthworms and tuber plants all year long. Moles can be gray, black, brown, or gold and will be between six and eight inch- es in length. Their wide front feet are designed for excavating, and moles have very small eyes and angular snouts. Many times moles are to blame for zig-zagging lines across a yard. Channels are typically dug between five to eight inches below the sur- face of the soil, according to the home and garden re- source site Hunker. The tun- nels are only about 1.5 inch- es in diameter and one may see small molehills of exca- vated soil in areas around the yard. Mole tunnels can be followed through the yard thanks to the appear- ance of elevated ridges on the surface of the soil. VOLES Even though their name is similar, voles look noth- ing like moles. They are al- so known by the name mead- ow mice and look more like mice than they do moles or gophers. Voles are small as well and primarily feed on foliage and plant roots. It can take a trained eye to differentiate between holes created by moles and voles, but foliage eaten around an entry or exit hole suggests the presence of voles. Un- like moles, voles don't cre- ate soil masses on the sur- faces of landscapes, which can make recognizing in- festations more difficult. GROUNDHOGS AND GOPHERS Groundhogs and gophers are also burrowing rodents. These rodents are larg- er than moles and voles. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are the larg- est of the group, followed by prairie dogs and gophers. Gophers tend to stay be- low ground and will pull food into their burrows, says the Florida-based A Wildlife Whisperer. Groundhogs of- ten stretch their subterra- nean tunnels to dens, which they may like to set up un- der backyard sheds or oth- er protected areas. Ground- hogs' size and desire to for- age and eat their fill above- ground often make them easy to spot. Once the animal doing the burrowing has been identi- fied, homeowners can be- gin removing food sources and altering conditions to make their yards less crit- ter-friendly. In the instance of moles, using a grub-kill- er can diminish their num- bers. Wire mesh fences bur- ied underground can deter digging into garden beds. Homeowners who are vig- ilant about disrupting bur- rows and tunnels may en- courage rodents to relocate. If burrowing wildlife prove problematic, home- owners can work with pro- fessional exterminators to assess the situation. Weeds are the bane of lawn and gar- den enthusiasts. Weeds can spread rapidly and overrun pristine grass, choking lawns and robbing them of their lush green look. In garden beds, weeds can steal water from thirsty plants, threatening their survival. A proactive approach that prevents weed growth is easier and less frus- trating than dealing with weeds after they have sprouted. That means ad- dressing weeds before they release seeds, and not waiting so long that the damage is already done. Accord- ing to the home and landscape ex- perts with This Old House, spraying herbicide for weeds in June and July can address weeds before seeds are set. Tilling and installing a new lawn in late August or the beginning of Sep- tember can help the lawn establish it- self before the first frosts arrive, all the while avoiding weed growth. The weed control experts at Round- up also suggest a springtime applica- tion of weed killer if this is the desired route. Early treatment can prevent weed roots from spreading too far in the soil, which can reduce the chanc- es that weed remnants will be left be- hind to grow at a later time. Homeowners with small lawns or gardens or those who prefer hand- weeding or using nonchemical ways to treat weeds must take steps to ad- dress the weeds early. Gardeners can try suffocating weeds by placing wood, blocks or plastic over them. Wet newspaper used as mulch can block weed formation and also clear patch- es of unwanted grass so that garden beds can be mapped out. Pouring boil- ing water on weeds or pulling them by hand is more effective when roots are young and have not yet spread. The UK-based company Lawnsmith also suggests a mid-spring weed kill- er application. This ensures that all weeds that have surfaced are ad- dressed and that none are missed by weeding too early. The Idaho-based Town & Coun- try Gardens suggests lawn and gar- den enthusiasts wait to tackle weeds. By waiting and applying weed treat- ments in the fall, when dandelions and other weeds are absorbing food and nutrients in larger quantities to survive winter, homeowners can rid their lawns and gardens of weeds ef- ficiently. Weeds are a nuisance and an eye- sore in lawns and gardens. Choosing the right time to treat them can en- sure they don't adversely affect lush landscapes and thriving gardens. TACKLE WEEDS in your lawn Select the right fertilizer for your needs For plants to truly flourish, the right growing conditions and soil that offers the right nutrients is of paramount im- portance. Fertilizer enhances soil so that plants and flowers can thrive. However, fertilizer is not a one-size- fits-all mix. Choosing fertilizer can be a little overwhelming thanks to the variety of formulations available at neigh- borhood lawn and garden centers. Shelves contain all-purpose products, such as those billed as vegetable fer- tilizer, and even formulations geared toward specific flower varieties. Oth- ers may feature buzz words like "all- natural" or "organic," and consumers may not be sure just what they need to keep plants healthy. The follow- ing guidelines can help any would-be gardener or landscaper grow more vi- brant plants. START WITH A SOIL TEST It's difficult to determine what plants need without an accurate pic- ture of what's going on in the ground. A soil test can paint a picture of what's going on and indicate if any nutrients are lacking. A common misconception is that gardeners fertilize plants. But fertilizer amends the soil that feeds plants, according to the soil-testing lab professionals at Virginia Tech. Soil types vary by region, and condi- tions may even vary between spots on a landscape. Testing where the plants will be placed can yield the most ac- curate results. Soil tests are available at gardening centers and online. Oth- erwise, landscaping professionals can conduct tests. See FERTILIZE on page 6

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