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t I j -*. ” L js Ì a \.~ ìì L t i ij “ v ï z. w i 1 ’c‘ v.-O zi y , 1c*9o -'t~4 Improper lawn care assures problems for home owners By Sherry Lajeunesse MSU Extension Urban Pest Management Specialist Improper mowing and watering are two lawn care prac tices that guarantee pest problems. Healthy, deep-rooted grasses can crowd out many weeds and withstand attacks by many insects and diseases, minimizing the need for pest con trol products. So when you mow and water your lawn, do it with the goal of keeping the grass strong and deep- rooted. Mowing is stressful to grass; roots stop grow ing temporarily, nutri ent production is re duced, water loss in creases and water up take decreases. The shorter the gTass is cut, the more stress it causes and the longer it takes the plants to recover strength. If grass is cut short repeatedly and too frequently, small openings will appear in the grass where weed seedlings can establish. The weakened grass also will be more susceptible to diseases and insects. So how short is too short? And how frequently is too frequently? As a rule of thumb, leave the grass as tall as possible and still look good. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue are some of our more common lawn grasses in Montana. In spring and fall, leave Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass at least two inches tall after mowing. In sum mer, leave it at least three inches tall. Leave tall fescue at least 2.5 inches high in spring and fall, and at least three inches high in sum mer. If you have other species of grass in your lawn, ask your nursery about mowing height for that spe cies. Leaving the lawn taller during the summer helps prevent heat and drought stress, both of which can make grass susceptible to weed invasion. As for cutting frequency, about every seven to 14 days is appropri ate for most home lawns. Try to avoid removing more than one third of the grass blades at a time. For example, if the mowing height is three inches, let the gTass get about 4.5 inches tall before you cut it. Watering deeply and infrequently can create deep roots, because the roots follow the moisture down into the soil. Deep roots create strong grass plants that are better able to crowd out weeds and withstand insect and disease problems. Apply about one to 1.5 inches o f water at a time. Allow the top 1.5 inches of soil to dry out before watering again. This encourages roots to reach down into the soil to find moisture. To determine how long to leave the water on an area, place several straight-sided cans under sprinklers and determine the amount of time required to catch one to 1.5 inches of water in each can. Check to see that the moisture is penetrat ing 6-8 inches deep. Some soils will require more water to get moisture that deep, other soils will require less. Combining these mowing and watering practices with the application of the kinds and amounts of fertilizer that soil tests show are needed by the soil in your yard will go a long way in keeping grass strong enough to out-compete many of the pests that visit your yard. When pesticides are needed, make spot applications when ever possible, rather than blanket applications. You Can Sell or Buy Anything In Our Classifieds Dillon Tribune 22 S. Montana 683-2331 • FAX: 683-2332 î V i i \ Moisture, shingles and old tubs puzzle homeowners Q: We have a moisture problem. Our 4-year-old, two- story home, is a few’ hundred feet from a saltwater creek. By midsummer, condensation develops in the crawl space under the house and drips down on the plastic vapor bar rier that covers the crawl space floor. By autumn, the dampness has caused the oak flooring in the room above it to buckle. When the heat comes on in the winter, the floor dries out and settles down, though not completely. Can you help us solve this problem? A: Check that the vapor barrier on the crawl space floor has no holes or open joints. Specifically, check the joints between the vapor barrier and the foundation walls. All open sections must be sealed with duct tape. In addition, during the winter when the humidity is low, install a vapor barrier (large polyethylene sheets with taped over lapping joints) to the underside of the floor joists in the area below the room with oak flooring. Also, place a dehumidifier in the basement that can discharge condensation to the outside by means of a condensate lift pump. Disconnect the dehumidifier during the winter. It’s important to keep the crawl space dry, not only for the oak flooring, but because excessive dampness promotes rot and creates conditions conducive to termite infestation. Q: I have light-colored shingles on the roof of my house to reflect the summer sun and thereby reduce my air- conditioning costs. The problem is that the shingles are discolored by dirty streaks of what I believe is mold. Is this discoloring due to mold, and can anything be done to elimi nate it? A: The discoloration is probably caused by mildew spores. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, this is a common problem and is often mistaken for soot or dirt. Fortunately the mildew spores do not cause the shingles to dete riorate. The discoloration cannot be eliminated, but it can be lightened temporarily with bleach. Gently sponge a dilute solution of chlorine bleach on the shingles then rinse it off with a hose. Don’t scrub the shingles or you will loosen their granules. Q: The porcelain in my bathtub is worn off on about half of the tub. The remaining porcelain is very rough and porous. I cannot replace the tub, but I think that a good paint and primer system would improve its appearance. Do you have any suggestions? A: We would definitely not recommend painting the tub. This is considered a temporary solution. We have seen tubs where the finish has peeled, cracked, chipped and discolored in just a few years. It would be better to replace the tub or to cover it with a Re- T h e g r a s s j u s t d o e s n ’ t g r o w f a s t e n o u g h . T h f LXÌH H with 'iS-imit ruttim i ittiI: •nul fl I Th}i urriltrtitl tn h r n u jn ir * 1 0 0 Off Win n you've got fix* |HA\erful John I khti * LX1SS In ihe garage, with Ks 4s-im h rim ing <leck and nifty Jb-im h turning radius, you'll he surprised how often tile glass needs trimming. NorniMi Hi \s I j k i -. a D ij mi ;.' DiCion Implement Co. Inc. 1025 Selway Drive, Dillon, MT 59725 683-4281 • 1-800-683-4281 •OOp' good t^rO-.g’ July * : .i'j:,. V»-„* 'phi • F- .»‘ S y - e y fry !j* ¡il: i)V I ■ G I I II r ; I H I * I’ Your complete Concrete, Sand & Gravel Service for your Home, Business, Farm or Ranch We carry Septic tanks Stockwater tanks Pre-cast _ Head gates C o iierete tanks M „ Locally owned and operate In •IIHH&itMmMmmtM m r Beaverhead & Madison County for 18 yrs. L- S. Ready Mix & Concrete 2500 Hwy 91 N. 683-2101 M I C r e W Mon-Fri 8am - Fnm c - , l , Sa}- by apppqini _________ — ________ Bath Liner. Re-Bath manufacturers hi-impact acrylic liners with a nonporous surface that is custom molded to fit over existing tubs. They have over 400 models of tubs with different shapes and sizes. This is not a do-it-yourself project, however. Prior to ordering a liner, a factory-trained dealer will check dimensions of your existing tub so that the installed liner will fit over your bathtub. The installation does not disturb the existing walls or floor around the tub. It will also not disturb the plumbing except for the tub drain and overflow to the liner. A typical tub installation costs about $550. Tub surrounds are also available.For more informa tion, contact Re-Bath at (800) 426-4573. To submit a question, write to Popular Mechanics, Reader Service Bureau, 224 W. 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10019. The most interesting questions will be answered in a future column. N O ! N O ! N O ! NO DOW N NO PAYAA ENTS &. N O INTEREST FOR SIX M O N T H S ' vfX o really, it's true. Coleman Spas and Green Tree Financial Corporation I ^ 9 have teamed up to bring you a no payments of any kind financing plan ( o a c ). Now you can say, “Yes\ to the enjoyment of a Coleman spa while you say, ■No\ to any payments for half the year! Offer good April 1 through June 30,1996 GET INTO THE OUTDOORS. __________ 130 East Park Street, Historic Uptown Butte /SflBWtSI Phone 723-4202 A MMMMIV O f TMI (CUMM (A M M T MC ROCKY MOUNTAIN POOLS 8 c SPAS v a ti Spring & Garden Specials! Lawn Cart 4.5 cu. ft. $35.99 16\ Hedge Trimmer $24.97 Kneeler/Seat or Grasshopper work seat $19.99 2 Gal. Poly Sprayer $10.97 Garden Tools Shovel, Cultiva tor, rake $8;99 t ; Ratchet Pruner $16.88 Standard Lumber 8 c Glass 302 N. Montana 683-5521 FEELING the S q u e e z e ? When the bills come in faster than you can deal with them, Come see us and we can help you. HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS Call or stop by for details. P f o t i e e r F e d e r a l Savings 102 N. W a s h ington 643-5191 MCfeSSEfl rote EÛUAL Houzmo l