For the life of me, I cannot seem to grow weeds lately for my nursery trials. Most growers would love to have my problem but when you are testing new herbicides it helps if there are some weeds coming up in the untreated pots to know whether the new materials have any effect.
At first I blamed it on the potting mix (I changed from bulk to bagged) but now I am thinking it may be due to how I irrigate. And that may be why growers have weed problems. You see, I don't put on a lot of water; after the initial watering in I only irrigate 3X/week for about 10 minutes each time. I think that I don't put on enough water to keep the media very wet. The plants look fine. Most nurseries water daily and some ever add handwatering. Could it be that if nurseries cut back on their irrigation that they could still get good plant growth and reduce their weeds?
In some work I did about 10 years ago, I found that containers irrigated based on soil moisture had considerably less weed pressure than plants irrigated using timer controllers and used less water with no loss of plant quality.
Last week I set out a rain gauge with a data logger to monitor the amount of water applied. After I get a good handle on that I think I will do a quick trial to test my theory whether it's the potting mix or if it's the water amount. Either way, if there's something that will reduce weed pressure, we need to find out what it is.
We were hoping that this wouldn't happen but hope is not a method of pest management. The lighte brown apple moth was just detected in Long Beach. This will trigger quarentines of nursery stock, fruit, and vegetables.
News release from California Department of Food and Agriculture
SACRAMENTO, July 31, 2009 - Both new and expanded quarantine boundaries are in effect in several California communities due to recent detections of the light brown apple moth.
The new boundaries will quarantine plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables grown in some areas of Contra Costa, San Benito, Monterey, San Joaquin and Solano counties.
Three new quarantine boundaries have been established: approximately 18 square miles in the Manteca area of San Joaquin County - the first quarantine in the San Joaquin Valley; approximately 16 square miles in the Gonzales area of Monterey County; and approximately 15 square miles in the Fairfield area of Solano County.
Two currently quarantined areas have been expanded: approximately 12 additional square miles in the Hollister area of San Benito County; and approximately 32 additional square miles in the regulated area of Contra Costa County.
Preparations are also underway for forthcoming quarantines in the Long Beach area of Los Angeles County and in the Los Osos area of San Luis Obispo County due to recent detections of the pest.
The statewide light brown apple moth infestation has grown in density and range in 2009. This summer the apple moth did considerable damage to berry fields near Watsonville. More than 110,000 moths have been trapped in California.
Approximately 3,473 square miles are now under quarantine within California. State and federal quarantine regulations prohibit the movement of all nursery stock, all cut flowers, and all host fruits and vegetables and plant parts within or from the quarantined area unless it is certified as free from the pest by an agricultural official; is purchased at a retail outlet; or was produced outside the area and is passing through in accordance with accepted safeguards. Additionally, federal regulations apply to host commodities from the entire county if the commodities are moving interstate.
The quarantine applies to residential and public properties as well as plant nurseries, farms and other commercial enterprises. Residents are asked to consume fruits and vegetables from yards and gardens in the area rather than removing them from the property. Landscapers and yard maintenance companies will be among the businesses placed under compliance agreements to ensure that yard waste is disposed of properly. People who are unsure if they are within the quarantine zone are asked to assume that they are. Maps of the quarantine zones are available at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/PDEP/lbam/quarantine.html
The Light Brown Apple Moth is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Hawaii. The range of host plants is broad with more than two-thousand plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest, and more than 250 crops. It threatens California's environment by destroying, stunting or deforming young seedlings and damaging new growth in the forest canopy. The moth also feeds on host plants and damages or spoils the appearance of ornamental plants, citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops. State and federal agriculture officials are currently developing sterile insect technology to combat the infestation.
For more information on the Light Brown Apple Moth, please visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/lbam
Orange County Register 8/28/09
August 28th, 2009, 12:49 pm · Post a Comment · posted by Pat Brennan, green living, environment editor
The quarantine means residents and business owners should not move any citrus plants, cuttings, fruits or leaves either within the county or outside it./h4>/h3>
Runoff may carry pesticides and other toxics from around homes into waterways. Harvesting rainwater from the roof will help reduce the amount of water reaching the ground and you can use this water for your garden whenever you want (not just Tuesdays and Thursdays). While it may not be on your mind right now, we do get a few bigs rains each year. This is free installation and materials. If I lived in LA County, I would sure take advantage of it!
If you are a landscaper or gardener and have a customer that could benefit from this, you should encourage them to do so.
This summer I have been watching the green fruit beetles dive bomb my own garden. Last month I found one in the soil with just its head in the soil and its rear end sticking up. I knew it was going to (or had) laid some eggs so I dug around and was amazed to find hundreds of grubs of various sizes already developing.
See http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/PESTS/grfruitbeetle.htmlfor more information about the green fruit beetle.
I collected a bunch and put them in a tray with some soil. Watch what happens when I shake the tray and about 7 seconds later.