Twig Tips by Jodie

Posted on June 24, 2016 by jo

A Real Pain in the Grass!

A real pain in the grass....Ok, I admit it.  I said that to get your attention. But now that I have it, what I want to talk about is grass that becomes a problem for us, specifically when it ends up where we don't want it.  It then becomes a weed because a weed, by description, is ANY plant that is growing where we don't want it...even our precious, coddled turfgrass.  So when it shows up in our flower beds and groundcovers, it is officially a WEED.

 Anybody that has ever tried to get grass out of their flower and groundcover beds can attest to the fact that it is nearly impossible to remove by hand.  Perennial grasses like orchardgrass, goosegrass and barnyard grass can all end up being difficult to remove because of their root systems.  But here comes the good news...grasses are in a different plant category than broadleaves which allows them to be treated with a selective herbicide.  We use selective herbicides all of the time when spraying our lawns for broadleaves like dandelion and clover.  But most people are not aware that you can do the opposite...spray something over the broadleaves (in this case, our groundcovers, perennials and low shrubs) that removes invasive grasses.  YIPPEE! That "something" is a chemical called Fusilade and it is found in Ortho's  Grass B Gon.  Note here...NOT Ortho's product Weed B Gon.  Weed B Gon will KILL broadleaves and is used for turf.  Don't make that easily-made mistake please.  And if you do, don't blame me because I just told you NOT TO DO IT.  Bonide's Grass Beater and Fertilome's Over the Top have a different chemical called Poast but it works in the same way.  These products can be sprayed right over your ivy, myrtle pachysandra, liriope, iris and other groundovers and perennials.  It can also be used on groundcover-type junipers, such as Blue Rug, but can cause some browning - not a bad idea to hold off spraying while their new growth is new and tender in the spring.  And here I am going to insert another note about using ANY sort of chemical for ANYTHING at all.  ALWAYS read product labels completely and follow directions.  Wear protective eyewear, facemasks and gloves.  I am more an organic gardener and really try to avoid using too many chemicals, but spot-spraying with one of these products and also using a bit of Round-up occasionally sure does help save my back and also saves me precious time.  And you know me...the Hasty Horticulturist.  Only so many hours in my day.

Many people that I have met over the years of being in the landscaping business are totally unaware of the above information.  So as I was spraying my Fusilade a couple of days ago on the grass that wants to take over my iris and creeping phlox, it occurred to me that it is my duty as a blogger to get that info out to my readers, which are just a few at this point but hopefully, if you pass this info on to your friends and share this link, before you know it, I will have thousands of faithful followers.  Hey, it could happen.

Off to hug a tree or 2.....Jodie

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