We are sure you have seen this before, vast mounds of mulch around a tree. Please don't do this! While it might have a visual appeal, this amount of mulch is quite deadly for the tree. We call these piles mulch volcanoes. There are two compelling reasons. Not to do this to your trees, according to Nebraska Extension, and we agree!
First, tree roots need oxygen to survive. In most soils, oxygen is in the top 18 inches or so of the earth. It's no accident, then, that roots readily exist, thrive, and grow in the top 18 inches of soil. Heaped mulch around trees, puts the lowest tree roots out of the oxygen penetration range. Under these conditions, roots begin to die back, slowing tree growth and potentially causing tree death.
The second reason mulch volcanoes are a terrible thing has to do with the tree trunk itself. The best way to mulch trees is with a 2-3 inch layer of wood chips or shredded bark. At a minimum, the mulch circle should extend outward at least 3 feet away from the tree trunk.
Aeration is a lawn care practice designed to create openings in lawn turf and the underlying soil structure in order to penetrate the root and thatch and allow essential water and air down into the soil where it can better reach the grassroots. The process is usually called "core aeration" after the practice of punching small plugs, or cores, into the lawn. We are here to help you with your lawn care needs. Thanks to The Spruce for the introduction on Aeration.
When someone walks up to your place of business, they make a decision about you and your business in less than 5 seconds. Make that first impression a positive one, the lawn and plantings are the first thing they see. Remember to keep them clean, trimmed, and weed-free.
The activity of earthworms, especially night crawlers, often creates a rough lawn surface that can be both annoying and dangerous. The small castings left on the soil surface by earthworms are only one of many factors that contribute to lawn bumpiness, though they are often the most recognizable. Another "problem" associated with earthworms is the movement of large numbers to places where they are unwanted (for example, on sidewalks or patios, and in swimming pools).
To hear the passion with which people seek a "control" for earthworms makes the worms sound like the worst pest imaginable. Of course, earthworms are valuable to the overall health and tilth of the lawn. Their activity improves the growing environment by increasing air and water movement in the soil and they help decompose thatch and alleviate compaction.
There are no pesticides labeled for the control of earthworms. Although some pesticides and fertilizers are known to have an impact on earthworms, none can be recommended as controls. Compared to the pesticides (especially insecticides) used one or two decades ago, today's pesticides have relatively little impact on earthworm populations, in part because of the registration process that examines adverse environmental effects such as mortality to beneficial, non-target organisms (including earthworms).
Various lawn care practices can help reduce the problem of a bumpy lawn. Bumpiness in sparse, thin lawns will be less noticeable if a healthy thick turf is reestablished through reseeding with a species and variety suited to the site, and through proper fertilization, mowing and irrigation.
Mechanical means to reduce bumpiness will be necessary to eliminate existing roughness. Core aerifying, power raking and verticutting are all mechanical processes that will break down some of the bumps in the lawn. Roughness accumulates over several years and it should be gradually removed instead of all at once.
Use of a heavy roller is not recommended. While rolling may remove some roughness, it also damages the turf by compacting the soil. Compacted soil reduces turfgrass vigor and eventually leads to a thinner lawn.
Although rough, bumpy lawns and earthworms on the driveway are annoying, destruction of earthworms in not advised.
The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office