Monday, December 23, 2019

Winter Weeds and Pruning

Horticulture Hotline 12/23/19
  Bill Lamson-Scribner 

Last week I ran short on column inches so I figured I would start where I left off with my observations. This observation takes a little action on your part. Winter Weeds have popped up and are very visible in the landscape. These weeds are young and in their vegetative stage. This is the time to kill them, ideally in 2019.

Chickweed, henbit, lawn burweed, Florida Betony, Carolina Geranium, Hairy Bittercress, Dandelion, and many more weeds are coming up from seeds or tubers now. If you control them now while they are young you will be able to use lower rates of herbicide and have better results. If you prefer to pull weeds, the young weeds will be easier to pull because their root system will not be as well established.

If you used a preemergent herbicide at the correct time, weeds might not be an issue in your yard. Spot spraying with a pump up sprayer with Weed Free Zone might be all you need to do. If you have weeds everywhere Weed Free Zone in the RTS (connect to a hose) formula or a granular product might be your best bet. Some granular products you put out on wet grass and try to keep dry for 24 hours – others you put out on dry grass and water-in lightly. Always read and follow product label!

The other observation I made was a lady properly pruning her Crepe Myrtles in early December – not topping, just removing rubbing limbs and interior growth. Her trees now look great and will continue to look great throughout the winter / spring. I guess from my commercial maintenance career, I always did my pruning of Crepe Myrtles after the New Year and before they put on new leaves. No reason for those limbs to be rubbing for an extra few months, now that I have four to prune and not hundreds to prune. Crepe Myrtles have a beautiful branch structure, might as well enjoy it all winter instead of the tangled mess of crossing branches they grow during the growing season.

I made my annual trip to The Holiday Festival of Lights. It gets bigger and better every year. I couldn’t believe how they have added so many attractions and the night I went they even had a four piece brass band playing seasonal music. If you have never been this is a must see. It is like no other light show in the nation – and the lights are just part of the attraction.

Holiday gifts? Pots, pruning saws, professional pruners, custom programs, soil tests, and what I like best so Santa’s Sleigh doesn’t get overloaded with Cotton Burr Compost – gift certificates!

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.