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Use care in controlling broadleaf weeds

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homeowners should avoid applying herbicides if temperatures exceed 90F. Read and follow all label directions for safe and effective applications. The optimum time to apply herbicides for perennial broadleaf weeds like dandelions is during fall when plants will translocate herbicide throughout the plant to increase long term control. The second most effective period to apply herbicides is just at or after a plant blooms. During spring, plants tend to be moving storage products from roots to crowns for leaf and flower growth. Thus, herbicides applied in spring tend to remain in leaves; not being translocated throughout the plant.

Applying herbicides just after weeds bloom, when the plant has lower food reserves, may increase long term control. Spring applications will burn foliage and weaken plants; but fall remains the optimum control period. Use spot treatments when treating broadleaf weeds. This is a "greener" option to using blanket applications, such as weed and feed products.

Grass clippings as mulch -- in the vegetable garden- Read the label. Many herbicide labels now have more conservative recommendations; stating grass clippings from lawns to which a herbicide has been applied should never be used as mulch. If this is stated on the label, it must be followed. If the label does not state this, the general recommendation is to wait until after at least 3 to 5 mowings before using the clippings as mulch. However, it would be safest not to use clippings, where a herbicide has been applied, as mulch.

Grass control in flower beds -- Perennial weedy grasses, such as brome grass, are difficult to control in flower beds. Other than hand-pulling and mulching, the herbicides sold as Grass-Be-Gone or Over the Top can be applied post-emergence to weedy grasses and provide decent control.

These products contain a surfactant and it is not necessary to use an additional surfactant, such as commercial or dish soap, with these products as burning of desirable plants may occur. Be careful in mixed beds with ornamental grasses, because contact of these products to desirable ornamental grasses will cause injury or death.

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Safe herbicide use -- Read the Label before applying herbicides to reduce the risk of injury to non-target plants and the potential for lawsuits. There are a number of herbicides that cannot be applied at certain temperatures, near water, over the roots of trees and so on. Keep in mind tree roots can extend away from a tree up to two to three times the trees height. A 30' tree could potentially have roots growing 60' away from the tree and possibly beneath a gravel lot that may be sprayed with herbicide that will injure the tree.

Read pesticide labels before, not after, applying herbicides.

Upcoming Activities

Market Lamb Tagging, Weighing & Shearing -- will begin at 9 am, Wednesday, May 30 at the fairgrounds in Beaver City. All Market Lambs must be tagged to be eligible for County Fair. Hair samples for DNA testing need to be collected from lambs going to State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben.

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Livestock ID Forms due June 1 -- Breeding beef, breeding sheep, market lambs, bucket calf, stocker-feeder, dairy, goats, horses and swine must be identified on ID forms by June 1. Tags and ID forms are available from the Extension Office.

Animals going to State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben have additional requirements:

Exhibitors must be 10 years of age by Jan. 1, 2012.

Breeding Beef -- need to be tattooed.

Sheep -- Hair samples for DNA testing.

Swine -- Hair samples for DNA testing and ear notched


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