The first person said moles were ruining her neighbor’s lawn and she was afraid that the critters would head to her yard next.
Moles are hungry after hibernating all winter. Their main food source is earthworms, which are also awakening, so the moles are tunneling through yards. Although moles do not eat bulbs, roots or tubers, their mice friends will sometimes use the tunnels to dislodge your bulbs and the roots of other plants. Moles are most active following rain showers. There is a rainbow, however, because the burrowing loosens the dirt and makes it easier for the soil to take on water and nutrients.
Eradication of the moles should be done in early spring because mating takes place in February and March with three to five babies arriving six weeks later.
Trapping is the most reliable type of control. It is essential that you locate the main run – a line about 3 to 5 feet long. A good way to find the run can be by poking small holes in it. Moles will be quick to repair the holes, a sign that you are on the right path.
The harpoon-type trap set on a run provides the best results. (If you have animals or small children, you might want to cover the trap with a bucket.) Check the trap once or twice daily; if you have not had success in four to five days, move the trap to another run. Push down the grass of the old tunnel so that it is not an invitation for another mole to use.
The second gardener asked why tree roots were protruding to the top of the mulch around his trees.
Applying too much mulch continues to be a major problem for homeowners who hire landscape companies that pile on too much and charge a good price for the “volcano” application. Adding mulch against the trunk causes the roots to rise to the top of the soil rather than growing downward. Thus the roots grow around the trunk, strangle the tree and cause it to become subject to destruction by high winds.
The correct way to apply mulch around a tree is to cover the ground – out to about to a 3-foot radius – with 2 to 4 inches of mulch. Do not allow the mulch to touch the trunk.
“The love of gardening is a seed that once sown, never dies.”