Homeowner Tips


Gardening:

  1. Take the Chinch Bug Test  (Lawn)
    If your lawn has brown patches in midsummer, it may be caused by chinch bugs. These pests are most prevalent on St. Augustine grass, but they will also affect bluegrass, fescue, and zoysia as well. Try the following test:
    1. Cut out both ends of a coffee can.
    2. Press it into the grass and fill it with water.
    3. If more than 20 1/4-inch-long, orange-brown to black bugs float to the surface, then you have a problem that needs a control. Water your lawn more, reduce the application of nitrogen fertilizer and drench affected areas with insecticidal soap to kill the young chinch bugs.
  2. Divide Groundcover Plants  (Lawn)
    Late July is a good time to divide thriving, clumping-type groundcovers such as liriope and monkey grass in order to create new beds and to control erosion on banks. Here's how:
    1. With a sharp shovel, dig up and divide the clumps into 4-inch-square pieces.
    2. Prepare the new bed area by tilling the soil and mixing in some compost.
    3. Plant the divisions 6 inches apart and keep them well watered
  3. Reapply Organic Mulches  (Shrubs)
    Organic mulches such as bark, straw, and grass clippings that were applied around vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs in spring should be checked and reapplied now. Organic mulches will decompose during the summer, especially if the weather is hot and wet. Add more mulch so that the layer is about 4 inches thick. If using grass clippings, don't use grass from lawns that have been recently sprayed with herbicides.
  4. How to apply Fertilizer

    Special thanks to the National Gardening Association for contributing to the gardening tips.

Copyright 2001 ILHOA. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 04, 2007.