As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to cool, now is the time to practice weed management for annual cool-season weeds. It's also not too early to consider management for weeds that emerge in springtime.
Using integrated pest management (IPM) methods can help reduce the presence of most weeds. In lawns, good practices such as proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing can help maintain healthy turfgrass. Likewise, in landscapes, hand-weeding, cultivation, and use of mulches can be effective in controlling weeds. More specific information about these and other IPM practices can be found in our Pest Notes publications on
Sooty mold is a black fungal growth that looks like a layer of soot covering the leaves of a plant or a sidewalk. The aptly named disease is common in gardens and landscapes, appearing wherever a large infestation of plant-sucking insects are found. Sooty mold grows on honeydew, a sticky substance excreted by plant-sucking insects.
While sooty mold doesn't actually damage plants or other surfaces, a thick growth of the fungus can block light to plant leaves, reducing photosynthesis. This can lead to stunted growth and premature leaf drop.
The key to reducing sooty mold is management of honeydew-producing insects,...
- Author: Belinda J. Messenger-Sikes
Pokeweed can outcompete native or landscape plants, contaminate agricultural produce, and reduce forage for livestock. All parts of the plant, including the glossy purple-black berries, are poisonous to humans.
Pokeweed is spread by seed and often sprouts in areas where birds roost. The best way...
- Author: Elaine Lander
Brooms are shrubs which were originally planted in California as ornamentals and for erosion control, but are now considered to be invasive weeds since they are highly competitive. They crowd out native plants and form impenetrable barriers to wildlife. There are four common species of broom in California: Scotch broom, French broom, Spanish broom and Portuguese broom.
In the newly revised Pest Notes: Brooms, UCCE advisor Scott Oneto and UC Davis weed scientists Joe DiTomaso and Guy Kyser explain the issues with planting these invasive species. The publication includes expanded sections on biology and management and updated herbicide...
Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that infect many trees and shrubs, causing dark lesions on leaves and cankers on twigs and stems. In some areas of California, vegetables and turfgrass can also be infected with anthracnose.
Symptoms of anthracnose vary by plant host and weather conditions. High humidity and dense canopies can exacerbate this common disease. Management relies on planting resistant cultivars of landscape plants along with careful maintenance of susceptible cultivars, such as pruning and removal of fallen leaves and twigs.
Authors Jim Downer (UCCE Ventura County), Steven Swain (UCCE Marin County), and Amanda Crump (UC Davis Plant Sciences) recently revised