Here comes the bride — and the groom, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen – plan ahead, practice a little, and then enjoy bring... Read more »
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The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Pruner, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear®2 Titanium Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented g... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented-pending tec... Read more »
Making your own wedding invites and thank you cards is a delightful task when you a few versatile tools and simple techniques... Read more »
Adding a small photo charm to a bride’s bouquet is a touching way for a bride to remember someone special on her wedding day. Read more »
Create a beautiful setting for your post-wedding brunch. Using these Fiskars tools will make the project even easier. Read more »
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Our Classic Stick Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade is ideal for crisp, controlled cuts on a wide variety of materials. A symmet... Read more »
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Funny Face Magnet Gift Wrap is simple to make and quite literally gives each gift magnetic personality. Read more »
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Of the three, voles are the worst marauders consuming nearly any vegetation in their path. That means tree bark, roots, root vegetables, and most bulbs aren’t safe from their voracious appetites. Moles are the most noticeable because they create large tunnels in your lawn as they search for grubs beneath the soil, but they don’t eat plants. Get rid of the grubs, and moles will move on, but that’s a different article for another time.
If it is available, voles (sometimes incorrectly identified as field mice) and true field mice love loose soil and bedding materials like grass clippings, leaf piles, hay and mulch.
In recent years, homeowners have gotten the message that mulch does several beneficial things for our gardens. It suppresses weeds, regulates soil temperature and moisture and can improve soil fertility. However, there is a dark side to mulch. Many of us are guilty of over mulching and doing it incorrectly especially when mulching around trees.
Consider how trees grow in their native habitat, the forest. They aren’t surrounded by a pile of shredded tree bark. Instead, mature trees have large roots which flare out beneath them, creating stability for their majestic stature. Neither mulch nor soil should cover this flare or a young tree’s more evident root crown. Further, mulch shouldn’t lie against the bark of trees or the stems of shrubs and perennials. For example, the large crapemyrtles shown in the photograph above are mulched only with their own spent leaves.
As I drive through town, especially in more affluent neighborhoods where lawn companies are out in force, I see their employees adding a deep and wide swath of mulch over beds and borders and around trees. It may create a neat appearance much like wall-to-wall carpeting indoors, but it isn’t good for the plants.
Homeowners often imitate what they see in their neighborhood so the problem is intensified. Layering mulch too thickly and placing it too close to trees encourages rotting tree bark and also lures mice and voles who chew on and dig around plants. If you see damage a bit further up on the tree it is probably done by rabbits. Voles love tulip bulbs, so if you plant tulips and in the spring, they only come up sporadically, you can bet they were eaten by voles.
Mulching young trees especially is a good idea, but follow these guidelines: