- (Focus Area) Yard & Garden
Question: Can you name a fun way to compost some of your kitchen scraps?
Answer: Vermicomposting, using worms to eat your "garbage!"
Vermicomposting is the process of keeping red wriggler worms in a “hotel” where they eat food scraps and other organic materials like paper and cardboard. Hotels can be simple or fancy, and the materials needed are easy to put together. This odorless hotel can be kept anywhere inside your house, or outdoors if you prefer.
Our local UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardeners will tell you which foods worms prefer and demonstrate how to create a hotel and feed your worms. You'll go home with information on how to start your own bin.
This class may appeal to the kids in your family, so be sure to bring them along. We hope you will join us for this fun class to learn about this sustainable way of turning waste into compost!
Please sign up for our Thursday, November 14, 2019 class from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/stancountymg/Classes/
Still a few spaces left for our hands-on workshop for Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Learn all about various types of succulents, how to propagate them (make more) and succulent care. You'll also put together a gorgeous succulent box to take home.
We will have coffee and a few goodies on hand. Sign up and bring a friend! Register and pay on our Classes and Workshops page.
- Author: Cheryl A. Wilen
Nurseries and garden centers often sell a wide range of plants for use in gardens and landscapes. As a consumer, you may manage a complex array of different landscape plantings, including woody trees and shrubs, woody ground cover beds, annual flower beds, herbaceous perennial beds, and mixed plantings. This complexity often makes weed management difficult. An integrated approach is the most economical and efficient way to control weeds, so knowing strategies for managing weeds in a variety of landscapes can help.
Woody Trees and Shrub Beds
Control perennial weeds before planting, although weed control can also be done after planting. Densely planted areas will reduce weeds. Geotextile (landscape) fabrics rather than black plastic used with a shallow layer of mulch will keep weeds from emerging. If you mulch without a geotextile base, the mulch layer must be thicker to prevent weed emergence.
If needed, you can use a preemergence herbicide to control annual weeds and supplement with hand weeding and spot applications of postemergence herbicides for weeds that are not well-controlled by hand weeding, such as perennial grasses.
Woody Ground Cover Beds
Mature, woody ground cover beds should exclude most weeds; however, when ground cover is just establishing, weed growth is likely. Perennial weeds must be controlled before planting, although perennial grasses may be selectively controlled after planting with a grass-selective herbicide like sethoxydim (Grass-Getter). Annual weeds may be controlled with mulch plus a preemergence herbicide but rooting of stolons in new plantings may be affected. You will need to supplement with some hand weeding.
Annual Flower Beds
A dense planting in annual flower beds will help shade out and compete with many weeds. Flower species should be carefully selected for weed management compatibility. Periodic cultivation at 3- to 4-week intervals and between flower beds plant rotations will also suppress weeds. Perennial weeds must be controlled before planting. Annual weeds can be controlled with mulches, preemergence herbicides, frequent cultivation, and/or hand weeding. Control perennial grasses with grass-selective herbicides like clethodim, sethoxydim, or fluazifop. Avoid nonselective herbicides in annual flower beds after planting.
Herbaceous Perennial Beds
Weed management options in herbaceous perennial beds are similar to those for annual flowers, except that it is more important to eradicate perennial weeds as there will be no opportunity to cultivate or renovate the bed for several years; and fewer species are included on herbicide labels. Geotextiles may be used in these types of plantings. Manage weeds with mulches and supplement with hand weeding. If needed, use preemergence herbicides after hand weeding.
Mixed Plantings of Woody and Herbaceous Plants
Weed management in mixed plantings is complex because of the diversity of species. Different areas of the bed could receive different weed treatments. Site preparation is critical because post-plant herbicide choices are few. Plant the woody species first and control perennial weeds in the first two growing seasons, then introduce the herbaceous species. Plant close together to shade the soil. Group plants within the bed that will receive similar weed management programs.
In most landscape situations, herbicides should not normally be needed by home gardeners. Mulching, removal by hand, and proper irrigation (pattern and amount of water) are sufficient in most cases. Find more information in the UC IPM Pest Notes: Weed Management in Landscapes.
Curious to learn more about succulents? In this fun, hands-on workshop, you'll learn about different types of succulents, their care, and how to propagate them. Last, we'll help you create an attractive design with succulent cuttings in a small, hand-crafted wooden box (made by one of our Master Gardeners). You'll also go home with an assortment of extra cuttings for your landscape.
Where: Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, Harvest Hall Rooms D&E 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto, 95358.
When: Saturday, October 26, 2019 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Cost: $25 (only 30 spaces available)
Questions? (209) 525-6862
Instructors: UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardeners Roxanne Campbell, Terre Gouveia, and Rho Yare.
Pomegranate trees are often used in gardens and landscapes in Stanislaus County. They make a great tree and usually have relatively few problems. Recently, someone contacted the Master Gardener help line to describe some odd-looking insects she found on her tree, so we asked her to send a few photos.
The insects are called leaffooted plant bugs. They use piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on fruits, nuts, and ornamental plants. When they attack pomegranates, their feeding may cause the seeds inside to darken and wither. Large groupings of the bugs can leave behind an unattractive excrement on the fruit, although it is still safe to eat.
Adults overwinter in large groups this time of year, so we advised our caller to take a bucket of soapy water out to her tree and to brush the leaffooted bugs into it. This would help decrease the population before the adults could lay more eggs in spring. (up to 200!) We were impressed the caller was able to find the eggs and capture this image. Can you find them on this pomegranate twig below?
For more life cycle and management information, read the UC IPM Pest Notes: Leaffooted Bug. And remember, if you have a gardening or pest management question, you can call our help line at (209) 525-6802 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org