- Author: John A Roncoroni
[From the Spring issue of the UC IPM Retail Nursery & Garden Center News]
“I hate crabgrass!” is a common lament I've heard from residents during my 35 years as a UCCE Weed Science Farm Advisor. However, four out of five times, the weed people are actually referring to is not crabgrass, but bermudagrass or dallisgrass. So why does knowing the name of the weed matter? It doesn't—unless you are trying to control it!
There are two annual weed species of crabgrass: large crabgrass and smooth crabgrass. Large crabgrass, sometimes.../span>
When people think of parasites, often what comes to mind are blood-sucking insects like bed bugs, head lice, and fleas or other bodily invaders on or in humans and other animals. But plants can have parasites too. Most of us are familiar with mistletoe but there is another parasitic plant you may not have heard about: dodder.
There are several species of dodder native to California but they are not as problematic as a particularly invasive species, Japanese dodder, Cuscuta...
It may surprise you to learn that California is home to invasive wild pigs, also called feral hogs or wild boars. Wild pigs can be a major nuisance for farmers, ranchers, and others who live in more rural areas or near wildlands. They will invade fields and eat crops, disturb plantings by rooting through the soil, and defecate in fields leaving behind bacteria and parasites.
How did these pigs become wild?
As is the case with many introduced invasive species, wild pigs were an accidental creation. Spanish missionaries brought domestic pigs to California in 1769 for consumption, but after being released for foraging and not recaptured, they escaped domestication and became feral (wild). These feral pigs...
Snails and slugs can be destructive pests in gardens and landscapes when they devour entire seedlings or chew holes in leaves, flowers, fruit, and even the bark of plants.
Manage these pests by getting rid of their hiding places, setting up traps, or planting resistant plants.
For more information about effective ways to manage snails and slugs, read the newly revised Pest Notes: Snails and Slugs by Cheryl Wilen, Area IPM Advisor, San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties; and Mary Louise Flint, Extension Entomologist Emerita, UC Davis and UC IPM.
In mid-March, many people use clover-themed decorations in preparation for St. Patrick's Day. Many gardens and landscaped areas are “decorated” with clovers too, especially with recent rains and mild temperatures in much of California. For some people, clovers are considered weeds, but others enjoy the green color they bring!
Clovers begin to germinate in the fall and continue throughout winter and early spring. Their bright green leaves can blemish the look of lawns and may be unsightly when found in ornamental plantings.
Clovers growing in lawns or landscapes are often a sign of low soil nitrogen, so changing fertilization can help prevent their growth. Read the UC IPM publication