Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
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: