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NICEVILLE, FLA COMMUNITY NEWS AND INFORMATION

What causes holes and mounds in yard?

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There are many things that can make holes and/or mounds in yards – everything from soil caving in due to old, decaying roots from trees, to insects such as beetles exiting the soil, squirrels digging, to earthworm casts. Yours sounds like earthworm casts.

eye m.D. of Niceville

NICEVILLE, Fla —

Q. I get holes in my yard as if bugs have dug down and left a pile of dirt. I thought of mole crickets and have tried the soapy water trick but all I get are earthworms. Any ideas?

A. There are many things that can make holes and/or mounds in yards – everything from soil caving in due to old, decaying roots from trees, to insects such as beetles exiting the soil, squirrels digging, to earthworm casts. Yours sounds like earthworm casts.

Soap flush (soapy water trick) is a technique to survey for mole crickets. Mix two ounces of liquid dishwashing soap in two gallons of water and apply with a sprinkling can to four square feet of turf in several areas where mole crickets are suspected. If an average of two to four mole crickets appears on the surface within three minutes, then an insecticide treatment is probably needed. The soapy water will irritate other critters, including earthworms, resulting in them surfacing. Earthworms are beneficial so there is no need to control them.

Here is a helpful web page. https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/gardening-with-wildlife/who-made-that-hole.html

 Q. I want to plant St. Augustinegrass but was told that since it has been so wet a lot of the sod is full of fungus. Should I go ahead and sod and treat the fungus or should I wait until fall to sod?

A. It could go either way. Leaf spot diseases are more common during warm, wet weather. Gray leaf spot is a common fungus of St. Augustinegrass. These leaf spot diseases are more prevalent during wet periods. However, it’s not uncommon to have to treat for gray leaf spot and other foliage diseases during the 4 to 6-week establishment period when you have to water on a regular basis to get the grass established. You could sod and take advantage of the “free” water in the form of rain and treat with a fungicide, if necessary. The gamble of waiting until fall to sod is getting the sod established before cold weather arrives.

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Q. What shrubs will grow in shady areas and make a good privacy hedge?

A. A few shrubs to consider include: Wax Myrtle, Cleyera, Lusterleaf Holly, Sandankwa Viburnum, Anise (Illicium parviflorum) and Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum). The following Website includes a wealth of information on shrubs for Florida. https://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/shrub-selection.shtml

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@myokaloosa.com.

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