Posts Tagged: weed
As you're thinking about winter weed management in alfalfa production, keep in mind the need for common groundsel control. Groundsel (Senecio...
Extension apiculturist emeritus Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, "retired" in June of 2014 after 38 years of...
Honey bees laden with pollen returning to their colony. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I’m fighting – and losing at this point – with Bermudagrass (Cynodan dactylon). Have you ever had a gardening problem, be it a weed or much-loved plant which fails to thrive, which has you thinking that TNT might be a good herbicide? I have but I’ve decided that explosives might be frowned upon during an IPM discussion.
My foe came into my yard courtesy of my neighbor. Evidently, at one time, they had a lawn in the backyard which extended from the house to the back fence and almost as wide as the entire yard. I never had any stolons come creeping into my yard UNTIL they had a concrete contractor come to install a patio. Well, very soon after that, came little fingers of green from under the fence and into my side yard. Eek, a mouse, er I mean Bermudagrass!
Realizing that since I left to work at 4:30 a.m. and returned around 5pm, I had no time for this “little” green invasion, I put the other adult at home to work (or so I thought). My plan was for Bruce to use the spray bottle of herbicide on the grass slowly creeping toward my roses, but he thought the plan was to merely report the progress the grass was making! Pretty soon, it seemed like only mere minutes, my yard had disappeared under a sea of thick stems and fine leaves. What to do?
Since the day I discovered that “his” plan was not “my plan”, we have been preparing to do battle! Since merely pulling the long, knotty and rather strong strands of grass is not working and our backs are tired; we have gone directly to the last step of IPM and selected our chemical allies.
This process was rather easy since reading the labels on the containers (the 1st step) eliminated a number of products right off the bat. Using gyphosate will not do as it is a non- selective weed-killer and kills grasses as well as broadleaf plants. That left only the selective dicot (grasses) herbicides. By looking around, reading labels, and asking professionals for suggestions, we are using a product whose main ingredient is fluazifop which can be sprayed over the top of roses, daylilies, and other plants which are in my yard. Hopefully next year my acreage of Bermudagrass will be smaller and what I planted will be visible. That will be extremely satisfying to Bruce and me!
All in all, I guess I should be happy that my neighbors didn’t plant either “running” bamboo or horsetail reeds!
Mat of bermudagrass.
Several years ago, Karen Metz, brought two Bunny Tails plants (Lagurus ovatus) to the Children’s Garden. She thought they would not only be interesting and fun to have at the garden, but something the children would enjoy touching. If you are not familiar with these small, compact grasses, just picture white, fluffy rabbit tails on a stem. Adorable!
In researching the information on this plant, it states it’s an excellent border plant and suggests planting it along walkways so it will tickle your legs as you walk pass. It’s drought tolerant once established. You can also grow Bunny Tails in containers as an accent plant. Blooms are 1 to 2 inches wide and the plant grows one to two feet tall. In the fall, the fluffy white tails turn tan and can be cut to add to dry flower arrangements.
Two years ago, it was suspected that a groundsman sprayed one of our Bunny tails with an herbicide. They do look similar to a weed when they are “tail-less”. Our remedy for the next one we planted was to place a small cage around it with a stake that denoted it was a PLANT and not a WEED. Well, the Bunny Tail grasses are not surviving in the little garden, despite our best efforts. I have decided they are not an easy grass to propagate or grow in an area you cannot keep under constant observation.
Bunny tails under guard. (photo by Sharon Rico)
When it comes to gardening, there is always something new or something more to learn. Luckily there are many opportunities nearby to expand your gardening knowledge. Below is a sample of some upcoming educational opportunities, most of which are free of charge.
August 31, 10:00-11:00
Topic: Composting. This class will be taught by Solano Master Gardeners.
Location: Vallejo People’s Garden (www.vallejopeoplesgarden.org)
Sept. 7, 10:00-3:00
Event: 30th Anniversary Sustainability Fair. For list of presentations see the Contra Costa MG website (http://ccmg.ucdavis.edu/?calitem=191703&g=12498)
Location: Walnut Creek
Sept. 14, 10:00-12:00
Topic: Seed Saving
Location: Loma Vista Farm, Vallejo, CA (www.lomavistafarm.org)
Sept. 14, 10:00-12:00
Topic: Loose Your Lawn and Sheet Mulching http://www.bayfriendlycoalition.org/Calendar.shtml
Location: Solano County Water District, 810 Vaca Valley Parkway, Vacaville
Sept. 17 – 19
Event: Weed Science School
Location: UC Davis Weed Research and Info. Center (www.wric.ucdavis.edu)
Note: a course fee applies
Sept. 22, 10:00-4:00
Event: “Down the Garden Path” Educational Garden Tour
Location: Napa (UC Master Gardeners of Napa County)
Note: There’s a fee of $25 in advance, or $30 on the day of the event.
Oct. 12, 9:00-12:00
FREE Event: Master Gardener Public Plant Exchange (and Gardening Talks)
Location: 501 Texas St., Fairfield
Bring a plant to share if you have one, if you don’t you can still take home a plant.
Come learn about the Master Gardener Program (11:30).
Attend one or more gardening talks.
Free Gardening Sessions scheduled:
10:15 Plant Propagation
11:00 Garden Gift Ideas for the Fall
Pick up a free vegetable planting guide and other gardening information.
Fun for kids too!
photo by Jennifer Baumbach