University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: My newly sprouted grass is 3 inches tall. It’s very tender, should I mow now? Should I fertilize?
A: When tall fescue reaches the recommended mowing height of 3-3 ½ inches, allow it to grow another inch, then mow. For good turf management, always try to remove no more than 1/3rd of the grass blade per mowing. Mowing turf too short is a top cause of poor lawns. Short turf lets light get down to weed seeds, encouraging them to grow, and it stresses your grass by removing too much of the blade at once.
The starter fertilizer you applied when you sowed the grass seed should last 4 to 6 weeks, then a regular fall maintenance fertilization can be applied.
See the HGIC fact sheet, Lawn Establishment, Renovation & Overseeding: http://www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/hg102.pdf.
Q: My neighbor saw a fox on my porch at dusk, and we saw one in the yard. We’re worried about the dog and the kids. We don’t keep dog food outside. Does he have rabies?
A: It’s not unusual behavior for a fox to be active at dusk or be found in the suburbs these days. Foxes are wary and will not attack unless cornered.
Something is attracting him so close to your house, probably rodents. Check your house foundation for the quarter or half-dollar size holes of voles or chipmunks.
If the burrows are slanted, it means voles. Voles can grow into large colonies and do great damage to bulbs, plant roots and bark. To get rid of them, use mouse traps baited with peanut butter or apple chunks.
Chipmunk burrows go straight down. For them, try to alter the environment to provide fewer hiding places. You can also call the Maryland Wildlife Hotline at 877-463-6497.