28August 24, 2011

Weeds of all kinds would appear to be the problem of the week for many gardeners Let’s see what we can do to solve some of the problems.

With some dry weather this summer, crabgrass has really made an appearance in many lawns. Crabgrass is an annual weed. The first frost of the fall will kill the plant. The problem is, each crabgrass plant can produce 100’s of seeds before the frost kills the plant. With the arrival of spring, those seeds start to grow and you will wind up with even more crabgrass next year. If you could kill the crabgrass plant this year then, logically, you would have less crabgrass next year. The idea has some merit if you killed the crabgrass plant back in July. The problem now is that the crabgrass plants are difficult, if not impossible to kill, this late in the plants life. In some yards, the seeds have already begun to fall. If you kill the plant, you still haven’t gained anything in the effort to stop next years crop. When you are mowing your lawn, bagging the clippings of grass will capture many of the seeds that may other wise fall to the ground. Probably the best thing to do is to give the lawn a good raking and see if you can pull out many of those crabgrass plants. Once this is done, you can re-seed the lawn this fall and get a better lawn established. You will still need to treat the lawn in the spring with a pre-emergent crabgrass control. This will kill the remaining crabgrass seeds before they have a chance to turn into new crabgrass plants.

If you are the unfortunate owner of a piece of land that has Japanese bamboo growing on that land, now is the time to seek some revenge. Many years ago, this plant was used as a screening material along the edge of some parcels of property. The problem is that it can take over an area and force out all the other plants around it. The root system of the plant is massive. In a mature stand of Japanese bamboo, the roots can be as big around as a man’s arm. Trying to pull the plants out is useless. Spraying weed killer on the plants is not effective most of the time. There is one time of the year that this plant is vulnerable to weed killer. If you look at the mature stalks, you will soon see tassels of white flowers on the top. Once this plant tassels up, it means that the plant is ready to take all the stored food that is in the stalks and bring that food down to the roots. If you apply Round Up to the leaves when the plant tassels up, the plant will pull the Round Up down to the deepest part of the root system. This will result in major damage to the root system. It may take more than 1 year to get this plant under control, but applying Round Up now will go a long way in knocking back the plant.

If your vegetable garden has a lot of weeds, you need to get in there and get those weeds pulled out. The weeds are competing for the food and water that your vegetable plants need in order to keep on producing vegetables. I know that weeding isn’t a fun chore for anyone, but you do need to do this in your vegetable garden if you want those late maturing tomatoes to have a chance to ripen. Nothing says that you have to do it all in one day. But once it is done, you will need to keep up with it until the frost kills off the tender plants.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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