Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I have varmits that are ruining my lawn during the winter (under snow). They make trails and destroy the lawn about 4 inches wide. I can find no holes only the trails and dead grass flipped to the side of the trails. Any ideas? We are going crazy trying to figure this out. We have never had this problem until last year.
Rate This FAQ
I suspect voles have moved into your lawn. Perhaps you live near an open area that was cleared for development last year, and the voles were forced to move, or their population increased suddenly and they are spreading out. If you feed birds, voles use that food through winter. They can do a lot of damage to trees and shrubs if they chew on the bark through winter - many trees and shrubs die because of vole damage.
Now that the snow cover is gone (I hope!), the voles will move to groundcovers or tall grasses for cover. If you don't have much of that, they will probably be prey for some sort of predators as they move towards a new area with some type of protection. In other words, unless you have groundcover in your landscape or a nearby pasture with tall grass, you probably don't need to do anything to control the voles. If you have groundcover, consider removing it or thinning it out so it is less protection and less appealing to the voles.
Look at these online publications for more information about voles: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/NR_WD_009.pdf
Your primary concern right now may be how to repair the damage to your lawn. Vole runways usually fill in by mid-spring, but I'd advise core aeration to help loosen the compaction they caused. You wouldn't think such tiny little feet could compact the soil, but they did it while the soil was very wet, so the effect of their travel is worse. Here is a link to info about lawn aeration: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic1200.htm
Note the statement within the publication above regarding timing of aeration: "choose a day when temperatures are mild and soil is moderately moist, which makes the soil easier to penetrate. Avoid aerifying a wet soil, as it is messy and leads to further compaction of the soil as well. If the soil sticks to your shoes or if the core sample you take sticks to your probe, you should wait until it dries out some before starting the job."
Here is a link to the USU publication "Basic turfgrass Care"; it will tell you when and how much to fertilize your lawn. Use the recommendations for "high maintenance lawns" to hasten regrowth. http://extension.usu.edu/files/gardpubs/hg517.pdf
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- Your answer about watering wasn't specific enough for me. My tomatoes have always cracked and it wasn't until last year that I got the vague answer about uneven watering. Now I'm beginning to think that my gallon a day watering of my one little plant was too much. I also have a drip system that waters three times a week just under the soil at the base of the plant. Should I stop being a helicopter mom and leave it just to the drip system? My plant is a foot high, been in the ground with lots of organic material and has a few small tomatoes. Please tell me how much and how often to water.
- What of the drought grasses mentioned Buffalograss, Blue grama, crested wheat grass or Sideouts grama grass, would most likely trigger allergy issues? Which one the least? Where to buy? Plant as sod? May we have instructions on "planting," care and maintanence, please?
- Can I use smoke bombs to kill gophers in my yard if I have a garden? Will the chemicals affect the vegetables I plant?
- I have 2 red tipped photinas in my front yard against the house (south facing). They were great for the first 3 years, but now, for the last 2 winters the leaves have dried out and dropped in the spring. I thought it was a lack of water over the winter, so I tried to help out, but that didnt help. Should I prune them back in the fall or is there anything I can do to help them so this doesn't happen next winter?
- I just moved to SLC from Phx,Az and many of the plants here are new to me. I have some flowers in my yard that resemble "Blue Dicks" closely but, the flowers do not cluster -- they each form on a single stem and have been flowering since the end of April. I also have some Violet-like flowers growing in my lawn at about the same height as the grass. I would like to know what they might be and where I might be able to purchase seed or bulbs of the same type so I can plant more
- I was told there was a worm that eats the goathead or Tribulus Terrestris is that true?
- We have about 6 pine trees (blue spruce) in our yard and we have noticed that this year they are loaded with pine cones. Does this mean anything? We have looked on the farmers almanac thinking that it must mean we are in for a hard winter, or something in that nature, but have been unsuccessful in finding the answer. Do you have any information why the trees are loaded with pine cones?
- There is a pecan tree where I work that is dropping leaves like crazy. Can I add the leaves to my vegetable garden and let it compost over the winter? Is there any toxicity in pecan leaves?