NOW’S THE TIME TO CONTROL WEEDS
of weeds come from seed unsuspectingly planted by the gardener…in
other words, weeds we allow to go to seed”, according to Mary Jane
Frogge, Extension Associate at the University of Nebraska Cooperative
Extension Service in Lancaster County.
a common pigweed plant, with its long reddish taproot, produces 117,000
seeds per plant. That means
just nine pigweed plants allowed to go to seed disseminates over one
million seeds. And these seeds are viable for 40 years.
Purslane, with its pinkish, fleshy stems and leaves, produces
fifty-two thousand seeds per plant. Purslane seeds are viable for
twenty-five years. And how about the common dandelion? It typically
produces fifteen thousand seeds per plant. So do not let weeds go to
seed. A gardener who does not let weeds go to seed will have
significantly fewer weeds each year.” (University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County NebLine, August 2004, page 6)
Weed control is
best done in the fall. Digging or killing weeds in the fall so they
don’t go to seed will reduce your workload for next spring and summer.
After a light frost, the plants are starting to take nutrients down to
the root system to get ready for winter. A systemic weed killer such as
Trimec, Trimec Plus, Total Weed Control, Kleen-up, or Round-up, sprayed
on the leaf, will be taken down to the roots and you get better control
than in the spring and/or summer when the plant is pumping food up from
the roots to the leaf blades. Be
aware that Kleen-up and Round-up will kill everything while Trimec,
Trimec Plus, and Total Weed Control, will kill your weeds but not your
grass. All the listed products will kill your flowers and your
vegetables, so be careful.
For the lawn, I
like liquid weed killers that you spray on with a spritz bottle or small
pump-up sprayer rather than the granular kind, such as a weed and feed
you apply with a spreader. The granules need to stick to the blades of
grass to be effective and usually they don’t stick very well. Liquid
weed control containing Trimec (Earl May Lawn Weed Killer, Earl May
Total Weed Killer, Ortho Weed-B-Gone Weed Killer for Lawns), will
control dandelions and many other broadleaf weeds and not hurt your
grass. For hard-to-kill weeds, such as ground ivy, henbit, and white
clover, two or three applications 7 to 14 days apart may be needed for a
good kill. Don’t water for 24 hours after each application to allow
the chemicals to do their work and do not mow your lawn for at least
three days after application.
Use of a
“sticker spreader” such as “Turbo” at the rate of one teaspoon
per gallon of water, or “Acme Sticker Spreader” following the label
instructions, will help the solution stick to the leaf of the weed. Most
weeds have a waxy leaf and the sticker-spreader helps the chemical stick
to the leaf and thus is more effective.
One final tip:
Never apply a liquid or a granular weed killer to a drought-stressed
lawn. An application to dry
soil may burn the grass surrounding the weeds and cause more stress.
Water thoroughly at the least one day before application.
I will have more about weed control next week.
Copyright Sept. 3, 2005