Update: Virginia Buttonweed, Doveweed and Basketgrass

posted by Randy Lemmon - 

weeds

On Saturday, I’ll be spending some time after the radio show at A&A Plants & Produce in Montgomery, and I’ll be very interested in the sample problems listeners bring me to look at. Last week at Cinco Ranch Ace Hardware, I saw lots of Virginia buttonweed, and my advice to all was prefaced with “You’re not going to like what I have to say.”

1. Pull up as much as you can over the next two or three weeks. You may be saying, “But that would be an entire section of the yard!” I understand, but it has to be done … it’s a critically important step.

2.  In a week or two, after the “pulling up,” begin treatment with AgraLawn Crabgrass Control (or Garden Weasel AG Crabgrass Control – they’re the same powdered organic weed control). READ THE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. You must wet the blades of the weeds before dusting, and I suggest you add surfactant to the water.  Why? READ THIS PIECE on the importance of surfactants in weed control

3.  When the first serious cold front hits - and high temperatures drop from the 80s and 90s, and low temps are down in the 40s and 50s - use a cool-season herbicide to get even better control.  And, yes, surfactants are still critically important.  

So, those are the rules of engagement.  And if you follow them precisely starting today, you’ll get a handle on Virginia buttonweed, doveweed and basketgrass.   

If you have let these weeds go for a long time, you may think pulling them all out will leave you with nothing. But, I can assure you that’s not the case.  There’s St. Augustine grass down below. There may not be much, but it’s still better to open up a little St. Augustine to air and sunlight than to treat the entire area with the AgraLawn powder. Even worse, waiting another month for the weather to change enough to use the cool-season herbicides will allow the weeds to get thicker and stronger.

The AgraLawn product is rather pricey, so it’s best to use it judiciously rather than “wall to wall.”  Plus, if you focus just on growth spurts that occur after pulling out as much as you can, you won’t open the fragile St. Augustine left behind to a possible phyto-toxic burn.

And, if you’re thinking about using the cool-season herbicide now, since it’s only in the 80s this week, you run the risk of burning what St. Augustine is still there. Listen to GardenLine, pay attention to these weekly blog posts, or follow us on Facebook, and I will let you know the exact date you can start using the cool-season products.   

A&A Plants & Produce in Montgomery on Saturday

I expect to be talking with many listeners one-on-one 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at A&A Plants & Produce in Montgomery.   

If you live anywhere near Montgomery or Lake Conroe, you’ll want to get to know this awesome garden center. It has evolved into something very special in just the last two years.  

For residents of neighborhoods like Walden, Bentwater, Grand Harbor, Del Lago Estates, Waterstone, April Sound and Magnolia, this is an opportunity for me to GET A PAIR OF EYES ON samples of your gardening and lawn problems. Meanwhile, you’ll be introduced to a garden center that has really stepped up its game, stocking the right plants for your landscape and the right products that have earned the GardenLine endorsement.

As always, we’ll also be giving away a wide variety of GardenLine goodies, including winterizers, pre-emergent herbicides, soil activators, and organic fertilizers. You don’t need to be present to win, but you do have to register between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

A&A, used to be known as Flores Nursery & Produce.  The mom and dad who started the nursery have passed away, but their daughter, Cathy, took over the business. At one time, it was well-known for Mexican yard art, chimeneas and produce.  But since Cathy took over, it’s become a full-blown garden center. It blew me away when I saw what she has accomplished in just a few short years. 

If you’re like me, you’ve probably passed this place many times as you’ve traveled along FM 105, just east of the Four Corners of Highway 105 and FM 149 in Montgomery. I’m wondering if you have paid attention to the awesome changes. Yes, they still sell that art. And they still offer local produce when possible. But stop in and see what a great nursery and garden center it has become. 

GardenLine with Randy Lemmon

GardenLine with Randy Lemmon

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