Gale Waites, MG
The three categories of weeds are broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds and sedges. Chemical weed control products (herbicides) are listed as having either pre-emergent or post-emergent activity. These pre and post terms refer to the right time to apply the herbicide. If it says preemerge on the label, apply the product before weeds sprouts up out of the soil. If the label says the product is for post-emergent use, apply it directly to weeds once they are up and growing.There are post emergent herbicides available that control many grassy weeds in gardens. The active ingredient of one such product is sethoxydim and it is sold under the brand names of Poast or Vantage. The first (Poast) is labeled for vegetables and the second (Vantage) is labeled for turf and ornamentals. Another post emergent grass control herbicide is flauzifop, sold by the trade names Over The Top and Fusilade. Be sure to read all the label instructions before purchasing either herbicide to determine if either meets your needs for grass control. Sethoxydim has more vegetables listed on its label, but it does require the addition of a special crop oil to be effective. Flauzifop has more ornamental uses and it requires a surfactant additive.Both products are available in small, homeowner size containers and really work well against crabgrass and other grasses in gardens. A word of caution; pampas grass, miscanthus, lemon grass and all the other ornamental grasses should never be sprayed with grass control herbicides.
Things to Do This Month
White Fringe Tree
Gale Waites, MG
“Sweet April Showers Do Bring May Flowers“. May is truly a month where gardening pays off. Be sure to get out and enjoy your garden this month. May can be very dry so be sure to keep new plants watered well. Most plants should get at least one inch of water per week. A rain gauge is helpful. The best time for watering is in the early morning. Keeping everything mulched with pine bark mulch, pine straw or other material will cut down on watering and weeding.
June is the month for Southern Magnolia blossoms, daylilies and cannas. Chinese hibiscus and ornamental grasses are at their full summer fluffiness. Signs to berry farms dot the countryside.
St John’s wort, lamb’s ear and obedient plants are in bloom along with summer phlox, monarda, loosestrife, mallows, daisies and butterfly weed. Annuals are beginning to get their second wind.
If part of the vegetable garden failed, just plant again or wait until later this summer to replant for a fall harvest. Corn silks are turning brown as they mature; squash, tomatoes and cucumbers are blooming and setting fruit. Okra, eggplants and southern peas will need more time to begin setting fruit. Plant Halloween pumpkins now. Thin pumpkin plants to two per hill, and water well throughout the summer.
Prune roses after blooming for more vigorous stems and blossoms and to keep the plants compact. Cut to just above a leaf with five leaflets. Continue to spray for black spot, and add an insecticide from time to time to control aphids and thrips if you have them in great numbers. Pinch the tips of chrysanthemums to make them bush out and produce more flowers this fall.
Mother’s Day is May 12th. Wonderful gift ideas could include a gift certificate to her favorite garden center or a book by a local or regional author.
When you are working outside in the heat, remember to drink lots of water. Use sun screen to protect exposed areas from the sun's harmful rays. There are many attractive hats that will shield you from the sun. Don't forget to protect your neck area with sunscreen.