Symptoms limited to effects on the grass seen by inspecting the surface.
Moles – tunnelling and mole hills: Several steps can be taken to control moles or encourage them to move elsewhere: Mole traps: Mole traps for killing moles are inexpensive and available from garden centres and hardware stores; They are humane but need careful placement in a tunnel that is about 10-20cm (4-8”) below the surface, but not directly under a molehill; The location of tunnels can be ascertained by scraping away at a recent molehill and probing the hole with a pliable stick; Open up a tunnel with the minimum of disturbance, using a hand trowel and carefully align the jaws of the trap with the direction and depth of the tunnel. No bait is required. Rub your hands and the trap with soil to disguise the human scent; Once the trap is set, gently cover it with an upturned bucket to exclude light and draughts. Check the trap daily; With a bit of luck the mole will be caught but sometimes the mole pushes soil into the trap. If this happens, clear the tunnel of soil and reset the trap. If this continues to occur, reset the trap in a different part of the tunnel system; Vacant tunnel systems may be taken over by another mole from nearby areas so further trapping may be needed to keep a garden mole free; Live-capture traps are also available for setting in mole tunnels. These need inspecting at least twice a day so that the mole can be released before it dies or starvation and/or stress. Captured moles should be released at least one mile away. Electronic devices: Electronic devices are more costly and available from garden centres and mail order firms. Their buzzing noise is said to drive moles away – however this may only be to another part of the garden. Mole repellents: A type of mole-repellent smoke, sold as Pest-Stop Biofume Mole Smoke, emits castor oil fumes. These are said to line the tunnels and deter worms and other mole food from entering the tunnels. The hungry mole will then move elsewhere, or it may simply create new tunnels nearby. Planting: Caper spurge, “Euphorbia lathyris”, which is a biennial plant, has its adherents who claim the root exudates repel moles. It is worth a try, but remove most of the flower heads before seeding occurs or a weed problem may result. Bulbs of “Allium moly” are also sold as a mole deterrent but are of doubtful value. Hire a professional.
Leather Jackets: If Leather Jackets suspected (yellow area / bird activity) – water the area and cover with plastic sheet in evening, lift sheet in morning and leather jackets will be on the surface to hand-pick and dispose of.
Fusarium patch (snow mould): This disease is common and troublesome in northern areas where prolonged periods of wet, cool weather occur from autumn to middle or late spring and early summer. Fusarium patch disease in these areas often occurs in the absence of snow and is favoured by cool or cold wet weather when grass growth is retarded; Follow a recommended fertilizer program for your area and the grass or grasses being grown. Snow mould damage can be reduced by using balanced fertilization. Maintain high potassium and phosphorus soil test values. Avoid fertilization with nitrogen within about 6 weeks of a killing frost.
Fairy Rings: And one difficult to control, caused by several species of fungi. Ever expanding ring (flush of growth in summer, dead or poorly looking, fruit in autumn, inner area of tumbledown); Dig out infected area?
Coral-pink to red fungus strands may be seen on leaves and leaf sheaths binding leaves together. Affected turf areas are usually more or less circular and vary from 2 to 15 inches in diameter. When dry, the pink strands resemble red threads; Conditions favouring disease: Red thread is most serious during periods of prolonged cool, wet weather, especially on turf deficient in nitrogen.
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