- Author: Betsy Buxton
Here I am, writing when I could be outside either flying the dog or ripping out more weeds from the “dry” creek. That darn “dry” creek has more water in it just now since the rain yesterday than the dog’s water bowl. I wasn’t really kidding about flying the dog as LuLu weighs just over 9 pounds and has very large ears and there is a very stiff wind blowing. Bruce and I joke around that at a time like this, hitch LuLu to her leash and let her soar instead of walk to the nearby park.
Earlier this week, we got down and dirty with the chemicals in the war against Bermudagrass, various other grass varieties, and my old “buddy” – oyster salsify! Using the IPM system, we have managed to NOT hold our own against these “arch fiends” of the home and garden.
Nope, not a napalm strike exactly, but the judicious use of herbicides and pre-emergents to keep from mowing in the house itself.
Pre-emergents are very useful tools in order to contain weed seeds when used at the proper time. Use in October for the spring weed seeds and again in February for the fall and winter weed seeds. It’s very simple and quite easy. I missed out in October because there was no rain; with the product I use, I need at least ½ inch of water. With Bruce, no rain = no spray; it’s not that he’s not a believer, but water = $$$ which he is loathe to spend. With rain, he’s raring to go, so it got done!
The grass spraying is a more delicate proposition. Using an all-purpose herbicide means death to any plant getting hit. So the game plan is: select the target, find an herbicide for that particular target group and read, READ the label. Select the appropriate product and use according to the directions to the letter!
So far, the spraying of the grassy weeds in the rose beds, the backyard potion of the dry creek, and the other areas of the back and side yards has been completed. I’m holding my breath that the guaranteed shades of red and/or brown will appear showing the weed plants are on the way out and make the other grassy weeds quake on their roots.
The last few years have been the years of grassy weeds. When we first started out here, there was nothing but tumbleweeds growing in the back forty. It only took 2 years to get rid of them but now, in a way, I wish those tumbleweeds, Russian thistle (Salsola iberica) were still here. I don’t know if you’ve read in the little magazines from the newspapers that some towns have festivals with prizes for the best use of the things and the having the biggest! Wow, my crops would have taken 1st prizes and built mansions! Alas, this information has come years too late!
Next were the years of the bristly oxtongue (Picris echioides). That stuff grows everywhere, and if you get dermatitis from it as I do – it got left alone as Bruce doesn’t do “prickle bushes” and I worked well out of town. Then came dandelions and finally the oyster salsify and the Bermudagrass. Unfortunately, for this group of weeds, I’m retired now and have all the time in world – my back allowing – for pulling up and hoeing the little darlings! The beautiful thing these days is now I’m the supervisor now at home and I’ve given myself a long lunch, starting now. See ya!!