Archive for the ‘Outdoor’ Category
Crabgrass is an annual warm-season weed that produces by seed. If not attended to properly, crabgrass will take over the entire area. It spreads quickly but you can remove it and prevent it from coming back.
To rid your lawn of crabgrass, apply a preemergent herbicide at the right time to kill the crabgrass. When the soil temperature reaches 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (at a depth of 2 – 3-inches), the first crabgrass seed will germinate. Crab grass will produce seed from mid-summer to fall. The autumn frosts will kill the crabgrass plants but not the seeds.
A preemergent herbicide can be either granular or liquid and kills the crabgrass seedlings as they germinate, before they emerge – stopping crabgrass in its tracks. If you aerate your lawn, do it beforehand – you don’t want to break this “invisible shield” that the herbicide has. Preemergent herbicides need to be applied before germination – but not too far ahead.
Certain “weed and feed” products often contain preemergent herbicides, but some wonder if the concentration is strong enough to be effective. You may want to use something like Dimension and Tupersan. Since not all crabgrass seeds germinate at once, a product like Dimension will kill later-germinating crabgrass as well. It is also a bit effective as a post emergent herbicide. Tupersan will not damage germinating lawn grass seed. Its’ active ingredient is Siduron which is often combined with starter fertilizers. For newly-seeded lawns, wait until after 3 mowings (or 3 months to be safe) before applying preemergent herbicides.
Tips on using preemergent herbicides:
Since water activates preemergent pesticides, irrigate afterwards.
Since all crabgrass seedlings do not germinate at once, re-apply to kill the later germinating crabgrass.
As with any chemicals – read the directions on the label, measure your lawn and calibrate your spreader carefully.
Don’t aerate the lawn after applying preemergent herbicide.
Don’t apply preemergent herbicides on new sod.
There are post emergent herbicides that will kill crabgrass as well but these will only kill young crabgrass plants making post emergent herbicides not as effective as preemergent herbicides.
If you don’t want to use chemicals for crabgrass control there are a few things you can do to keep a healthy lawn:
Fertilize more heavily in the autumn than in the spring. In autumn the frosts have killed any crabgrass.
Don’t allow bare spots to remain uncovered for long – it’s an open invitation for crabgrass to take over. In fall, overseed those bare spots.
Water your lawn more deeply and less frequently. Crab grass is a shallow weed.
Set your lawn mower on “high” (2 ½ to 3 inches) to allow the lawn to protect its own turf better by depriving crabgrass seeds of the light they need to germinate.
Organic?? Corn gluten is a great weed and feed product. An organic preemergent herbicide with corn gluten will suppress crab crabgrass germination and fertilize your lawn. And good old-fashioned weeding is also another method. If there are many to pull, wet the lawn to make it easier to dig them out.
Do not mow the lawn too short – longer grass smothers the crab grass.
Fertilize your lawn at the recommended times.
Crabgrass roots move quickly and will take over your lawn, so tackle the problem at first sight.
Apply corn gluten to your lawn in the early spring months.
Pull crabgrass by its roots to stop germinating.
Want the best looking lawn in the neighborhood? Learn how to properly care for your lawn – just click here.
The combination of poison ivy and poison oak in your garden makes them dreadful companions. The resin in their oil is toxic, causing severe dermatitis. If you try burning poison ivy you can end up with severe lung problems.
A cluster of three – let it be!
Three poison ivy leaflets make up a leaf of poison ivy. Poison ivy is a vine with groups of three pointy leaves. It will climb up trees, climb up the side of your home of other buildings, and send runners under the ground that will attach to anything. It will grow just about anywhere.
Not only is it poisonous to humans, but the oils from the poison ivy can transfer onto animals and then be passed on to humans.
All the parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause rash – the leaves, stem and roots. If you are going to try to remove poison ivy organically, there are two ways to do it.
The first way is to pull it out by hand. If you choose to do it that way, there are safety precautions that are needed. You will need to cover as much of your body as you can. Wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and enclosed footwear as well as heavy-duty gloves. Remember that the oil from the plant can linger on your clothing and you can get a rash from just touching the clothing. Launder your clothing immediately to avoid this problem. And launder them separate from other laundry items. It may even be wise to run hot, soapy water with some bleach added to it for a wash cycle after washing the clothes you’ve warn.
The second way to organically remove poison ivy is to smother it. You will have to cut it as close to the ground as possible, cover with a cardboard box or some newspaper and water the cardboard box or newspaper to make it stick. Cover this with grass clippings. You could spend your entire season doing this, and you may need to apply the cover material again, but it will work.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The oils never leave poison ivy, even after you have killed it off by smothering, you can still get a rash when you go to clean the area.
Never try to burn poison ivy. By burning you are releasing the oils in the air which can cause severe reactions in anyone that inhales the smoke. This reaction can be worse than an external rash. And it can also cause a reaction on any part of the body that the air touches. This can cover you from head to toe – much worse than a small spot on an arm or a leg.
If you are not worried about removing poison ivy organically, then use a glyphosphate-based herbicide to kill the plants. Roundup concentrate mixed with water, 3 times normal strength is good. You won’t want to use the ready-mixed roundup – it’s not as potent ad won’t do the job. You can use any sprayer, even an empty cleaner bottle. Read all instructions and warnings on the label and be sure to label your spray bottle for safety’s sake. Store in a safe place.
Don’t spray on a windy day or if it going to rain within the next 24 hours. When spraying, coat thoroughly hitting all leaves with the solution.
Wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt, and heavy gloves. Wear socks and fully enclosed shoes or boots. Don’t spray the plants you like or they will die. Plants take herbicide in through their leaves, then the plant dies. Use a piece of cardboard to shield the plants you want to keep. Poison ivy will turn yellow and die in a couple weeks.
You will need to use a shovel and dig down at least 8 inches to remove all the roots. You do not want any re-growth. Wear your gloves and protective covering the whole time. Remember – even after the plant is dead, its oils are still present.
Cleanse with rubbing alcohol, vinegar, mineral spirits or you can use a commercial cleanser such as Technu. Then scrub with soap and water.
Several times a year you will have to check and take the necessary steps to kill the poison ivy. You will need to do this for several years – there is an excellent chance you have not gotten it all – you haven’t seen it all yet. Poison ivy is very persistent and will easily grow out of any piece of root that is not killed or removed. No matter how you remove it – you will most likely have to do it more than once to completely get rid of poison ivy.
Contact your local agricultural extension office for the best method to remove the poison ivy in your area.
If you only have a few small plants, you can pull them. Be sure to remove all underground runners. Dig down at least 8 inches.
You can always get a bunch of goats to eat the poison plants. They eat poison ivy and poison oak with no problem at all! You’re agricultural extension office or a local nursery can lead you to where you can hire goats for this reason. You will still have to dig out the roots though!
Glyphosphate-based herbicides will kill any plant it comes in contact with; keep away from your landscape plants.