Other than Agent Orange...

digitS'

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Barnyard Grass . . . if I recognize it, that's the stuff that sticks to your socks and has to be peeled off . . . Interesting that we might have more or less problems with some weeds depending on our environment. Yeah, chickweed can be a real pain. I know that I will find it, and there will even be some blooms, over in the shady corner of the little veggie garden whenever I get out there this spring :/.

I think it may be very worthwhile to see if a vinegar with a very high acidity would work for you, Bill. But, I really don't know.

Plastic? I dislike plastic in the garden even tho' I'm going to be under some plastic for the next few months growing plant starts. I can't quite see how it works well for mulch. Not allowing water to reach the soil, being a safe haven for slugs . . . all of that. Besides, I may trip on it :rolleyes:. Still, it is used by growers, big & small.

Imagine, someone on Vancouver Island worrying about soil becoming too hot ;). Okay, I know full well that there are bright sunny days and you don't want seedlings to cook. Here is something from Penn State on using plastic, soil temperatures and more links at the bottom of the page: Plastic Mulch (click). 5 or so doesn't look like very much. Don't go with the clear; I know from experience that there are lots of things happy to continue growing under clear plastic laid on the soil. And, how about those tractor-mounted tools for rolling out plastic mulch?!

Don't give your plants up to the weeds . . . "This is where we fight! This is where they die!" Leonidas, king of Sparta. "Ya doggone idgit galoot . . . yer-a-headin for the last round up." Yosemite Sam.

Steve
 

digitS'

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canesisters said:
Speaking of weeds with super powers - I have pastures full of what I think is fennel.... but mowing now will only be broadcasting seeds.
If it is an annual weed, and grows tall before going to seed, mowing may very well be the best way to get rid of it, Canesisters. Mowing repeatedly.

In life, everything is timing. "Aw, I'm sorry! Time's up!" Daffy hits Porky Pig with a mallet.

Steve
 

thistlebloom

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We have a lot of knapweed growing on the property, most heavily along the two sides that border the gravel road.
I agree with Steve that timing is key and mowing has been my line of attack for the last 5 years or so. I wait until it has begun to make buds then hire a neighbor to mow with his tractor. It comes back of course, but each year there is less because I think ( hope ) that by letting it start to set buds then mowing it down so it has to try and start over before the end of the season, stresses it enough and uses up it's reserves so it doesn't have the energy to bloom again.

It's funny how in the garden when you manage to get one type of weed under control, here comes a brand new species.
I'm building a dry creek bed that borders the lawn and one of the vegetable areas, and last year I got a bumper crop of red root pigweed
in the disturbed soil where I was digging to put the rocks. I have no idea why there's so much there, I've not seen it here before.
 

marshallsmyth

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ohhh thistle!

get rid of that knapweed immediately. I was amazed how that stuff spreads. I moved to a place in Helena and it was all over the backyard! Beg or borrow all mowers and implements! Pay your local high school football team to practice football in it. Pay golfers to make divits in it!

bribe neighbor kids to yank it up and give them money per wheelbarrow full! Burn it!

Write a letter to that dictator of north korea and ask him to test a nuclear bomb in it!!!
(Well, almost exagerrating a little tiny bit on that one :p

The only good knapweed is a dead one!!!

State of Montana tested knapweed for nutrition value. It has no nutritional value!!!

I used to get in trouble from my then girlfriend for spending more time in the backyard getting rid of it than with her.
 

thistlebloom

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marshallsmyth said:
ohhh thistle!

get rid of that knapweed immediately. I was amazed how that stuff spreads. I moved to a place in Helena and it was all over the backyard! Beg or borrow all mowers and implements! Pay your local high school football team to practice football in it. Pay golfers to make divits in it!

bribe neighbor kids to yank it up and give them money per wheelbarrow full! Burn it!

Write a letter to that dictator of north korea and ask him to test a nuclear bomb in it!!!
(Well, almost exagerrating a little tiny bit on that one :p

The only good knapweed is a dead one!!!

State of Montana tested knapweed for nutrition value. It has no nutritional value!!!

I used to get in trouble from my then girlfriend for spending more time in the backyard getting rid of it than with her.
All that and more!! :D I've read that it also has some allelopathic compounds that inhibit other plants from growing around it, but I haven't noticed that happening particularly. 10 years ago the boys and I hand pulled about a quarter acre of it up front where my first garden patch is now.

I don't know if it's the same type of knapweed that you had in MT but it doesn't spread too badly, it's just so dang persistant! They say the seeds don't spread by wind, they're too heavy or something, so they just germinate where they fall off the plant. That's what I'm trying to keep from happening by mowing it when it's in the early bud stage.

At first I was weed whipping it, and the ones along the driveway I was giving some extra TLC with the whacker, taking them down until they were a concave hole in the ground. Do you know they sprang back up looking as vigorous and refreshed as a spring pansy!
That was so discouraging... :(
 

marshallsmyth

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The Knapweed in Montana was called...

Russian Spotted Knapweed, and some folks called it Black spotted Knapweed

either way, really bad news stuff. Use every one of your favorite tools on it! If you want to make your mower blades weigh less, lower them to the ground and rub them that way! Hire your local pyromaniacs to test their new skills on it...shoot the knapweeds for target practice...

can you just imagine trying to get rid of spotted knapweed along with bindweed in the same field? utter nightmare!
 

thistlebloom

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marshallsmyth said:
The Knapweed in Montana was called...

Russian Spotted Knapweed, and some folks called it Black spotted Knapweed

either way, really bad news stuff. Use every one of your favorite tools on it! If you want to make your mower blades weigh less, lower them to the ground and rub them that way! Hire your local pyromaniacs to test their new skills on it...shoot the knapweeds for target practice...

can you just imagine trying to get rid of spotted knapweed along with bindweed in the same field? utter nightmare!
Yeah, it's the same kind of knapweed as you had. There is a biological control available now, it's called the knapweed root weevil. There's a company in Bozeman that sells them. I should really look into it.

One good thing is that there are some native grasses growing along with the areas of knapweed that I have mowed, and they go to seed about the time when the kw is starting to form buds. So the grass is spreading and the kw is getting weaker. In about 30 more years I'll have it controlled!

Bad stuff...toxic to horses and I heard a story ( don't know if it's true ) about a guy locally that got cancer in his hand from pulling it without gloves.
 

bills

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Here is a study done on weed control, that showed that certain species of weeds can actually be reduced by tilling the soil. Unfortunately, tilling can also make other species spread even worse.
Depending on exactly what you have that is giving you trouble, instead of mowing, you might be better off to get the rototiller out.

http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/fba03s00.html

But then.. like Thistlebloom said, you finally get control of one species, and another one pops up in it's place..:rolleyes:
Mother Nature, aka The Big Comedian..:/

Canesisters, You must have a different kind of fennel, than I am thinking of. I actually grow fennel to eat..lol
Maybe you could harvest it and make some money selling it.:)

Is this what you are plagued with?.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel

Yeah Steve I hear you..No doubt using plastic could cause me other issues.
I have given some serious thought to building raised beds, putting landscape cloth on the bottom, and then filling them with all new soil. I'm thinking the landscape cloth would prevent any weeds from making their way to the surface.
Then to keep the weeds down between the beds, I would lay black plastic down first, with some large cedar chips covering it, for the walkways. But...it would reduce the amount of growing space that I have. It would certainly look neat and tidy doing it this way.:)
 

canesisters

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bills said:
Canesisters, You must have a different kind of fennel, than I am thinking of. I actually grow fennel to eat..lol
Maybe you could harvest it and make some money selling it.:)

Is this what you are plagued with?.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel
Bills, I've searched and searched to try and identify this monster. This is the only picture I've found that seems pretty close - duh! Just never occured to me to take pictures of it..

The website this came from identifies it as fennel..
It gets TALL - sometimes 6-8 feet with a woody stalk that snaps and splinters when bent hard.
It grows pretty densly when it gets away from me. I actually lost the pony in the pasture last summer. I could hear her moving around but had to wander through the 'forest' to find her.
It stinks when you mess with it - a very herb-ish smell. Not like cut grass.
I've never noticed flowers on it though... As a matter of fact, I've often wondered how it reproduced because of that.

Once it got dense and so tall, I just gave up and waited for it to die back and get brittle before I went after it with the mower. It's just a little creepy riding around and not be entirely sure of exactly where you are because of being surrounded by giant, smelly, furry green whats-its.
 

thistlebloom

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Bills, that Manitoba site is a good resource. Tilling in certain areas of the property would be an option, but I would need to be armed with enough grass seed to oversow densely enough to out- compete new weeds. That's a good plan, but it will have to take a number and get in line on my project list.

Since spotted knapweed has roots similar to dandelion, in that it only takes a small piece to regrow, tillage may not be good for the areas with a high knapweed population....:hu I'll need to do more research on that one.
 

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