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Spring Maintenance

Usually, anyway. In Missouri, the weather is so unpredictable! The weather also very much impacts everything from insect populations to plant health. One thing you can count on as spring heads into summer, though, is that things will start happening in the dynamic, ever-changing environment that is your lawn and landscape.   Critters begin stirring, plants start budding and blooming, and it begins to seem that all living creatures want to be out enjoying the sunshine. I know I do!

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind around your home as the weather begins warming up.


Landscape The funny thing about trees is that, not unlike the human body, they can be suffering from an ailment long before they start showing symptoms.   Moisture levels and insect activity from previous seasons combined with current conditions impact trees and shrubs year after year.   Last year’s disease levels, like fungus, were moderate, which means that if we have fairly heavy spring showers, rust and anthracnose will thrive. Also like the human body, check-ups and preventative maintenance can be very beneficial.

Lawn On the turf side of things, the grass will green up as the soil temps warm and the sun shines for more hours of the day. Of course this means that mowing on a regular basis begins as well. Because most folks aren’t in the business of mowing, we strive to use slower releasing fertilizers that feed the turf over a longer period of time rather than a quick release type that stimulates growth. If you want a dark green stand of grass without all of the excessive growth (which translates into excessive mowing!) this is the way to go.

Termites Swarming termites and flying ants look a lot alike, and both tend to get really active this time of year.   One is relatively harmless and the other can do tremendous damage to your home with its wood-eating habits.   The easiest way to tell the difference is that flying ants (you may have guessed that’s the harmless one!) have three body segments, just like a regular ant, and straight antennae. Termites have two body segments, and elbow antennae.   We have some images on our website that can help you identify the differences, but we’re always happy to help in person, too.   Getting an annual termite inspection can give you some peace of mind as well.



Moles It may suddenly appear that subterranean building contractors have set up shop in your front lawn, tunneling giant mounds of dirt up into affordable family housing…for rodents.   Moles and voles both become active in the springtime, busily seeking mates and maddening homeowners with their destructive ways.   There are a number of ways to manage moles in your lawn, but there is one big myth I’d like to debunk for you: Treating your lawn with a grub control product will not eliminate moles. It is a commonly held belief that if you get rid of the moles’ food, the moles will move on. While moles do find nice, fat grubs to be quite the delicacy, earthworms are their primary food source.   So, while grub control is a good idea for the well-being of your lawn’s root system, it will not necessarily impact your mole population. It’s most effective to make a plan that deals directly with the moles.

For more information, call Atkins, Inc. at 573-874-5100, or visit their website for a full list of services: http://www.atkinsinc.com

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