Saturday, February 10, 2007

Moles in the Garden

Moles could be considered beneficial critters since they eat grubs, but while doing so they dig tunnels under the plants that can make it very hard to keep the plants watered. The moles seem to prefer the ground around newly planted plants, probably since the soil is loose from digging and is extra moist so it has more earth worms than the surrounding soil. I have learned from experience, that if I have a new plant that wilts no mater how I water it, I need to check for moles.

Once the soil warms up a bit we will buy some Beneficial Soil Nematodes from March Biological. These microscopic critters seek out grubs (including cutworms, root weevils, fleas, and crane flies) in the soil but don't harm the earthworms. Applying the Beneficial Nematodes is quite a leap of faith; they are too small to see. They come on a small sponge that you rinse into a bucket of water, then you apply the water to the soil. In the past, after applying the Beneficial Nematodes, we have noticed a dramatic drop in the number of adult crane flies, so they must work. Reducing the number of grubs in the soil may encourage the moles to move onto the neighbors’ yards!

Here is an interesting web site, Tom Clothier's Garden Walk & Talk , on the site I found a mole article by Bob Stewart: When Mole Hills Become Mountains.

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