Always mow cool season grasses, like tall fescue and bluegrass, at a height of 3 inches. Mowing the lawn too close weakens the grass and permits many weeds to invade your lawn.
- Keep your mower blades sharp to prevent turf damage. Dry white or tan colored grass blade tips are an indication that the mower blade is dull. Dull mower blades tear turf grass and can lead to disease problems.
- Leave grass clippings where they lay. Grasscycling eliminates bagging labor and costs, adds organic matter and nitrogen to your soil and does not contribute to thatch build-up.
Did your garden get overtaken by weeds last year? Take action now, before weeds become unmanageable. Consider the following options around plants and between rows: dried grass clippings, sections of newspaper covered with straw, black landscape fabric or black plastic mulch.
- Pinch the blooms off flower and vegetable transplants before you set them out. This will help direct the plants’ energies to root development and will result in more productive plants.
- Snakes, turtles, and toads are all very active now. These are all very beneficial creatures. They are very sensitive to pollutants such as pesticides. Their presence in the landscape is a sign of a healthy environment.
- No permit is required to trap a groundhog. However, permission is required from the landowner before releasing into suitable habitat. Consideration should be given to relocating groundhogs during spring while the young are in the den or in the autumn immediately before hibernation when there may not be time to establish a winter den.
The Home & Garden Information Center’s horticulturists are available year-round to answer your plant and pest questions. In addition to gardening questions, we cover houseplants, indoor pests, and more. Send your questions and photos to Ask an Expert!