Saturday, January 14, 2006

Winter Organic Weeding Report

Weeds do not stop growing in winter. In fact, although slowed by the cold, they can grow profusely. Maybe this global warming winter also provides an ideal environment for taproots. As you know, I like to get out there and pull weeds and weed roots by hand (without a glove). I established a nice lime base with applications in the front, back and side yards in October. Summer Foxtail is allowed because it makes a nice buffer at the fence line and is at the bottom of an inclined yard.

Clover was taking over the backyard this summer. It grew almost as fast as I could pull it. I believe clover is a nitrogen fixer, but it also takes over the yard. I try to limit fertilizer applications (I am not a purist) as much as possible while still producing a seamless grassy yard. Right now the Common Mallow is the culprit. Clover roots are also spreading and sprouting little leaves. They are easily found and destroyed. Pulling the root during winter is crucial to spring and summer control. I wondered why I had to fight so hard last summer. If weeds are being hand controlled, one must allow for two or three seasons for best results. But you must still be vigilant. Weeds and their pesky root networks never sleep. (Posted by Norris McDonald)

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