What weed you're after...

Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)June 10, 2012

And what is your preferred method fighting it?

Also, what is your favored weeding tool, I bought one, not cheap, looks so awful dangerous, it's got 4 sharp points, good to weed the veggie garden, easy to go between plants and to thin out.

I'm after quackgrass this year.

I know it's a bad grass but I declared full time war this year with roundup when I got a clump of plant from somebody [dug up] on a exchange. I took this clump of grass apart to find the roots, coulnt' believe how these quackgrass roots strangled that plant!

No wonder, the owner of that plant said that it never grew.

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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I used to have chickweed problems but it's an annual so the more I stay on top of it, the less I get the next year. I think I've just about got it under control now.

Quack grass is bad, bad stuff. It was my entire lawn at my old house and I was always finding it in everything. It grows SO fast.

The worst ones in this yard are creeping blue bellflower and tansy. Our whole neighbourhood is infested with bellflower and it's so hard to get rid of. You have to dig up the freaking carrot sized root of each plant or it doesn't even skip a beat. It's also resistant to Round Up. I got all the tansy out of the flowerbed where the previous owners planted it, but not before it got into the grass and spread 75 feet through healthy lawn grass to my raised vegetable beds, where it ducked under the boards and sprouted 2 feet up in the raised gardens. It's a terrible weed and anyone who plants it on purpose should be forced to trim my hedge with nail clippers.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:08PM
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beegood_gw

Quack grass all the way and thistles in the pasture. I see the odd Tansy and it is instant history as well as Scentless Chamomille.I have loads of Creeping Charlie but just accept it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Well, I have to say that the thistles are starting to look like little tiny monsters compared to the grass this year and last. I love that we have a compost plant here in town but I have to say that I will never again take advantage of it. I put a load of compost from our Edmonton plant in the garden two years ago and have had the most rediculous issues with grass in there!!! I don't know what kind of grass it is and I don't care. All I knowis it is the spreading kind!!! I'm going to get a goat. A Ninja goat who eats thistles too!! Bad weeds!! Bad grass!! I have lots of the little creepy stuff that I have been told is about 5 different things but it actually doesn't bother me as much as the grass and it's kinda pretty with it's little blue flowers. I'll have to get a picture and I'm sure someone on here can correctly ID it. :)

LMAO at your comment Gil! I feel the same about the Loosestrife that was my late neighbours fence creeper. I'm sending it "postage due" back to China!:)

Ginny

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:07PM
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CLBlakey

The quack grass is so bad I yanked my flowerbed and planted trees the only hope I see in ridding the yard of it is to wrap the trees and round up the whole yard and start over. So sad my flower bed was beautiful I did warn everyone I gave my plants to. Very strange though none in my front yard. My neighbour has a lovely crop of chamomile I hope it stays at his house. I'm an old fashioned weed and feed girl and have no idea what to do now that I can't get it. I tried vinegar on the dandelions but the tops die then the roots come back with vigor(have started to pretend they are flowers and pick them for bouquets for my friends LOL). Might have to buy on of those weed pullers.

northspruce- My back yard sounds like your old lawn.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:15PM
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beegood_gw

The stuff with little blue flowers is creeping Charlie. I gave up on it a long time ago and think of it as flowers in my yard.
CLB I don't know where you live but in Alberta Scentless Chamoille is considered a noxious weed or is it a different type of chamomille?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Yeah, that is one of the names and I too have just come to accept it as a ground cover. In fact, I prefer it to lawn. I also have a lot of clover in the low areas of this old lawn. Googled the botanical name.

Thanks for reminding me Ingrid. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:54PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Quackgrass is my enemy. I tried pulling it, putting vinegar on it, using Roundup as a last resort, and I still had it !

Three years ago ( I think, or is it four) I covered the area with about 2 inches of compost, then covered with cardboard, covered with dirt, then compost, and then grass clippings. Every time I mowed the lawn I'd dump a few fresh grass clippings on it. I don't have any quackgrass in that area anymore =:) It's the best thing I've ever done to alleviate the most irritating and frustrating thing I've come across in my garden. The area is about 4 feet by 10 feet between some trees. I am, however, getting quackgrass in another area, so I'm looking through my stash of cardboard to start the process there.

My favourite weeding tool has got to be the old fashioned dandelion digger that looks like a long screw driver. I do have one of the Fiskar's standup weeders, but it only slows the dandelions down, as it doesn't always get much of the root. It's great for aerating though, LOL, as it takes out a chunk of the grass with it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:56PM
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CLBlakey

Beegood- I am north of Grande Prairie and yes it is that same noxious weed

NAF- I wonder if it will come back after the cardboard breaks down.

I have an idea when we rip out our carpet in a few years I do the back yard with it then buy new topsoil and start fresh. Or maybe I should just carpet and spray paint.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:13PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

I'm really wondering if my quackgrass will survive years of being buried, too. When the cardboard breaks down, if the quackgrass returns, I'll have had 5 or so years of peace =:)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:27PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

One thing I learned at my old place was that the effort to install decent lawn edging is a fraction of the effort of removing quack grass constantly. If it's gone from a certain area, it probably really is gone unless there are rhizomes to move in from a nearby area. Which takes about three days when it's warm and rainy.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:58PM
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northernmn(3/4)

For years, I used to fight quack grass and other problems on kind of a hand to hand combat style. One battle here, and then a battle there. The battles never ended. New sources for the problems were always nearby.

10 years ago I bought a 5 acre parcel so part of it could be used as a fruit patch. Short after that, our country was involved in Desert Storm. I saw the effect of fighting adversaries with "Shock and Awe". That was how I began to fight quack grass, thistles, dandelions, poison ivy, and even pocket gophers.

Yes, there was collateral damage at times. But 1.5 years later.... 5 acres totally free of the 5 above mentioned problems. War with them is over. Weeds beaten with 2,4-D and RoundUp. Pocket gophers with truck exhaust, traps, and poison.

As Konrad implied, you need to focus hard on eradication, or you will fight the battles forever. If you fight a battle... make it a war... fight to win. Yes, some of the airborne (wind or bird) seeds/weeds will be back, but those battles with young plants will be easier to win.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:39PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

What weed AREN'T i fighting? LOL Quack grass here too and another grass with matted roots, thistles, plantain (grrrrrrrrrrrr!), dandelions, you name it! I've resorted to Round-up on some things but it doesn't seem to touch it much. My trowel is the weapon of choice - dig it up and toss it into a bucket and dump the bucket across the road.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:30PM
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donna_in_sask

Count me in too - I'm fighting quack grass in the flower beds and lawn edges. I'm waiting for a patch of Siberian Iris to finish blooming so I can dig it up and separate it from the quack grass. Why does this weed spring up in the most inconvenient of places?

I also have trouble with green ash seedlings. I guess I have a female tree and it spews a million seed pods and they get everywhere. My husband has taken to using the shop-vac on all the concrete crevasses.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 1:17AM
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don555(3a)

No-one else battling purslane? Looked kind of interesting years ago so I let it be. Bad mistake. Been fighting it for at least 3 years now, and the battle goes on. No point just hoeing it up since as a succulent it will just wait for moisture, then re-root. So I have to wade through the garden with a pail, picking and removing. I think I've prevented it from going to seed for two years running now, but I see more of the stuff sprouting in the veg. garden this year...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:57AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I've done that with things, Don, and regretted it too. Purslane is not a big problem for me. I find a bit of it in the vegetable garden but not a lot. We used to have a big problem with chickweed but it's not bad anymore. I used to leave it as a mulch for carrots - they did great with it!

Dill is one of the worst weeds we have, actually. It's crazy!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:51AM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Dandelions. And quack grass. And thistle. But especially dandelions. I have a huge double farmyard(was originally 2 farm yards side by side, now it is one big pile of work!) that has dandelions EVERYWHERE. There is no way I'm going to be able to spray them out or anything, so I just put up with them. But that means that as often as I weed, they are being constantly reseeded into the flower bed. I've resigned myself to fighting this one forever.

Has anyone heard anything about corn germ or something like that preventing seeds from germinating? I heard the tail end of a radio program awhile ago and they said something about that and I was wondering if it actually works.

I do use roundup on areas that aren't too close to perennials. You may all know this already, but the best time to spray roundup on grass is in the fall, when grass is storing energy in it's roots. If you spray in the spring or summer, it is considered "seasonal control", meaning it'll come back the following year if it is a fairly mature plant.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:09AM
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CLBlakey

Isn't purslane an annual? My Grandmother used to faithfully collect the seeds and replant each year she liked it in salads. Go figure. Come to think of it chickweed also went in salads.

Congrats! Northernmn on winning your war quackgrass is a formidable enemy.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:23AM
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CLBlakey

obviously I don't know my weeds I just looked up purslane and it said it was the same as pig weed but then when I looked at pictures it came up looking like portulaca now I am not sure what weed it was my grandma grew because even the pig weed pics don't look like the one she grew.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I'm with you CL! I don't know anything about weeds except that they grow faster and stronger than anything else and that I have every kind of weed that will grow in Alberta in my yard! And many of them have pretty flowers to make you think they belong there! I guess I shold start IDing them so I can figure out what to do about them. Know thy enemy........(;/ Until then, just off hand, anyone know of a weed that looks like a strawberry plant?

Ginny

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you all!
I guess quackgrass is a Global weed, some of the weeds here I'm not familiar with, like purslane, one site say's its a gourmet weed,.. weed it or eat it? Perhaps tell me, what weed do you eat?
Well then so are many others like chickweed and dandelion to think of LOL.

Since I have honeybees out on the acreage I ignore dandelion and clover for the bees sake. I'll go around with the sprayer and spot spray only quackgrass where I grow stuff and thistles in the early stages before flowering. I wont be getting them all but it will get better.

I'll take a picture from the tool I bought and post it later.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:32AM
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donna_in_sask

weeper,
It's corn gluten meal and what it does is inhibit germination. It takes a long time to work and is fairly expensive, two reasons why it hasn't really taken off in popularity here.

honalee,
Perhaps your strawberry-like plant is potentilla aka cinquefoil?

Konrad,
There are lots of weeds that are edible. Just because it won't kill you, doesn't mean it's palatable. We've tried lamb's quarters, dandelions and purslane - I'll stick with lettuce and spinach.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:33AM
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beegood_gw

Purslane is in the portulaca family. I got some with portulaca seeds. It is an annual but has a gazillion seeds. Took a while and I got rid of it but I guess because I tackled it early

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:56PM
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shazam_z3

Had a ton of dandelions in the front yard. Previous owners never took care of their plants.

I hand pulled about 1500 this year. Still had a massive amount. So I used Killex in a bottle you attach to your hose. It seems to have worked a charm.

Now for the quackgrass. Ugh.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:00PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Weeper:

The corn gluten meal mentioned is a pre-emergent that I use on my front lawn. It's also 10% nitrogen, so I use it as my fertilizer. A 20 pound bag costs about $30.00 and it covers approximately 1000 square feet. It certainly wouldn't be cost effective for your farm yard, but if you do have an area of "nice lawn" it certainly wouldn't hurt to try it. Apparently it works great around extablished plants, too, but I've never tried it in my flower beds. It takes a few years to improve your lawn, as you still need to get rid of existing weeds (which I do by hand) but I have just as nice a lawn as most of the people I know that use chemicals. Actually, mine is greener than some because I use coffee grounds and also spread chopped up leaves on it in the fall. I don't know anyone else that does this, but it sure works for me =:)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:46PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

The weed that looks like strawberries is definitely cinquefoil. It has yellow buttercup flowers.

I have a fantastic book called Weeds of the Prairies published by AAFRD. I mail ordered it for less than $20 and it has all the common crop and garden weeds, from first sprout to mature infestation stages. Great, great book.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:48PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Oh, Weeper, BTW..........

We took a long long trip last week to see friends. Boy those gravel back roads go on forever! There was a sign that said Young, so I think we may have been within 20 miles or so of your place. Who knows? Maybe we even passed right by !

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I'll look for the book. Thanks Gil. :)

BTW I haven't seen it flower yet. It just shows up in my left over pots.

Ginny

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:32PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

NAF and Donna - thanks for the information! I think I might look into it then for using in my flowerbed. I'm not sure I'll use it in my lawn anywhere, because you would probably want to start with nice grass, and we don't have any nice grass. ;)

NAF - that is very neat! I bet you were really close by, Young isn't that big of a town, so they don't sign for it unless you are within 10 min or so. *waves* Except that right now me and the hubby are holidaying in Canmore, so we wouldn't have been around for a visit but...*waves from Canmore*

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:29AM
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CLBlakey

Shazam where did you get the killex I have not seen it in stores here.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:42AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Around here we can usually find garden chemicals at Canadian Tire and Home Hardware, hit and miss at Walmart, and never at Home Depot. They've gone all "green".

I think there are provincial bans on certain products though so YMMV.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:49AM
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shazam_z3

@CLBlakey

I got it at a local garden centre. They're the only ones that carry 24D products now. None of the chains see it anymore.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:30AM
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CLBlakey

Thanks - I will check CT I have to go to town today anyways if not there we have a local garden center that might have it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:42AM
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macky77(2a)

I had to do a double-take there. My husband is from Young. *waves from near Humboldt*

We're constantly fighting quackgrass and thistles here. A couple of years ago I declared war on the dandelions and they've become way more manageable now. As bad as the grass is, I'd like to get a handle on the thistles first.

Don't even get me started on the green ash seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:14PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Poplar seedlings here - they're all over!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

The maple seedlings I didn't get last year are 3 feet high this year! And some taller! I sent about 6 of the landed ones with my GF home to Calgary last weekend! :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:56PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I just finished weeding in the vegetable garden and was thinkig about this thread and wondering who jinxed me by getting me to say that purslane wasn't much of a problem around here. It was Don! We're infested with the stuff now! LOL

Another thing that turns up in the garden is something that might be field horsetail. I've always just called it tumbleweed, though i know it's not. Lots and lots of that in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 5:03PM
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shazam_z3

Just an update, Walmart sells Killex too.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Have a area where I grow some borage and sunflowers, it also has horsetail I think,...when looking it up as marciaz mentioned. I really never knew the name, somebody told me it was wire grass but horsetail matches more closely.
How do you get rid of? Round UP doesn't touch it.
Working the ground is about the only solution it seems.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Anything that contains amitrole kills horsetail, such as Amitrol-T and Weedazol. No idea where you might find it though. :( There are quite a few different horsetail weeds.

Ginny

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Collin001

Dandelions. Quack grass. Thistle. And being in the shadow of 3 wild manchurian elms. Weeding has become a full part time job. 20% of the lawn is weeds this year. Took most of the week of digging it out. You could easily spend all your evenings if one person handles all the duties. Then again I am picky and don't use herbicides.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:54AM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Macky77 - that's neat. I hardly ever meet people that actually know where Young is. I have a sister who lives on a farm outside of Lanigan, also, she is in Humboldt all the time. *waves*

We have alfalfa growing in our lawn EVERYWHERE. I was hoping if I kept mowing it and it never flowred, that it wouldn't spread, but there is getting to be so much of it, I'm considering using a broadleaf herbicide in the areas where it is thickist. It makes mowing very aggravating; the alfalfa grows much faster than my grass!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you Ginny,..I'll have to keep an eye on this.

Again,...
I'm talking mostly about weeds out on the acreage, spot spraying is what I do, clover and dandelion I don't mind, it benefits my honey bees. I don't think all grass on acreages should be treated with herbicides on a regular basis, I did it one's about 20 years ago when I took possession this infested place.

Weeper, many years ago I sprinkled some alfalfa seeds around on places I thought it would be good for honey bees, several years later I found out it spread to areas like near trees and other plants I grew, then I had to kill some. They could grow 8 feet tall, can suck allot of nutrient and water away. Alfalfa has a long root system,.. up to 18 feet!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:25AM
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ljpother(3a)

I have a wide variety of weeds. Other than hand pulling, my favourite tools are a digging fork for quack grass and a lawn mower for anything in the lawn.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:32PM
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