NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR MARCH 19, 2016 *************************************************************







          The experts on Backyard Farmer and the instructors in the Master Gardener classes always talk about having the “Right Plant in the Right Place”. “The Right Plant in the Right Place” means you plan ahead and if you have a particular location you want filled, you select a plant that will be the right height, the right width, and needs the kind of soil you have. You also take into consideration the moisture and sun requirements. Or you start with a particular plant you bought or want to buy and select the location with the right amount of sun, the right amount of moisture, and has the room for the plant to grow to its mature height and width.

          The same approach applies to use of any kind of herbicide (kills weeds, grasses, etc.), insecticide, miticide, fungicide, or fertilizer. The basic concept that I will be outlining in this series of articles is called “INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT”. In integrated pest management or “IPM” the first step is to identify the pest that you want to get rid of or deal with. In part #1 will talk about weeds and the importance of correct plant identification. In future articles I will write about the identification of other pests, some of the products available to control them, the correct use of the products, the importance of reading the label and following the manufacturer’s recommendations, and the correct time to apply to control some of our common pests.

          We say that a “weed” is just a plant out of place. (Right now I haven’t found the right place for “Crabgrass” or “Bindweed” but I suppose there is one.) But if you don’t know what your “Plant out of Place” (the weed you don’t like) is in your yard or garden, or how to control it, take a sample (more than one leaf) to a full service garden center that has a certified nursery person or a person trained in weed identification and control. Or take it to your local County Extension Educator. Identification of the weed you are trying to kill is important and the first thing you should do.

          Also it is helpful to know the life cycle of the weed. By life cycle I mean is it an annual or a perennial? Does it grow from seed or does it spread from runners, or both?  If it produces seeds, when do they mature, and then what time of year do they germinate? Also, can the weed seeds be controlled by a pre-emergent herbicide? Timing in the application of a herbicide is very important and knowing the life cycle of the weed helps us to know what time of year to apply the herbicide, what kind of herbicide to apply, and how often to apply.                

          For more information on lawn weed control go to In the box on the top left side of the screen type in EC1256, or “Landscape Weed  Management”, or “Lawn and Garden”. Publication EC1256 talks about control products and has colored pictures of the most common landscape weeds. Under “Lawn and Garden” are many useful articles. These publications can be read on line, or printed for reading later and for reference. Or go to for garden and lawn information, good tips, and access to other websites.

          In writing this article I also used “Integrated Turfgrass Management for the Northern Great Plains” by Frederick P. Baxendale, Ph.D. & Roch E. Gaussoin, Ph. D. (members of the University of Nebraska Turfgrass Science Team). Published by the Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska: 1997.

Copyright 2016