NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 24, 2012

Tim's Tips: Keep deer, critters away from your lawn

The weather may be mild but the calendar tells us that November is coming, and that means that cold weather is on its way. As it arrives, there are various creatures that will want to eat your trees and shrubs, and cause damage to your plants.

Deer and mice eat all kinds of trees and shrubs. Voles and moles will tunnel through your lawn and gardens and damage the roots of your plants.

You need to set up a plan now to protect the trees, lawn and plants.

Deer are becoming a major problem in this area. Once the snow starts to fall, they begin eating more plants — and the plants that we commonly set out in the yard, unfortunately, are ideal pickings. You should spray a liquid deer repellent to your plants now. By doing so before the deer start eating, you have a better chance of stopping them completely. The scent of the repellent keeps the deer from wanting to eat.

Mice are particularly fond of eating the bark off of fruit trees and many ornamental flowering trees. Remember that if the mice or rabbits eat the bark all the way around the trunk, the tree will not be able to take up food and water in the spring. This will cause the tree to die. If you place a wrap around the trees, however, the mice will not be able to access the bark. Tree wraps come in many styles and sizes. By applying one now, you can save your trees from accruing costly damage in the future.

Moles and voles have been a major problem in lawns and flowerbeds during the past two winters. Their tunneling causes root damage as perennials’ roots make a great winter food for voles.

There are granular mole and vole repellents that you can apply to your lawn and perennial gardens. These repellents create a scent in the soil that moles and voles do not like, which will prevent them from spending the winter destroying your yard.

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