Jeff shows Eric an area that has insect damage. To diagnose what pest is causing the issue he has a trick. Take several tablespoons of dish detergent, for some reason lemon scent seems to work particularly well, mix it in a bucket of water, then just pour it on the area that appears to have a problem. The insect will come to the surface at which point you can make a definitive identification of the culprit. Jeff walks us through the process. His assistant, Steve, pours the water on the troublesome spot. It typically takes anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes for the insects to appear. Jeff in this location typically finds mole crickets, army worms, sod web worms or nematodes. Nematodes are the worst in the south because they are microscopic and can really cause damage. At this problem area a mole cricket fairly quickly appears. He is fairly small which leads Jeff to believe that he was hatched in the ground. Now that we know what the culprit is we can correctly choose how to deal with the issue. Eric thinks this is a great tip.
What's the secret of transitioning from a competent gardener to a confident one? Pruning! Though pruning shrubs strikes fear into the hearts of many, it is actually a simple and rewarding process. All you need to do to master it is to understand a few basic principles behind the why, when, and how of pruning shrubs.
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