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Controlling plantains

Posted by lalala 6 (Metro Boston) (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 1, 10 at 9:50

Hi all,

The main weed problem we have in our small back yard is plantains. They really love it there, probably because it's rather shady, clay soil, and somewhat compacted. We are slowly combatting the clay and the compacted soil with aeration and compost each year, and we do corn gluten in spring and usually overseed in the fall, but it will always be shady, and since it's a small yard it will always get a good amount of foot traffic. I just spent two weeks pulling them up, which I hope will at least reduce the population. Is there anything else that you would recommend--any soil conditions or nutrients that plantains esp. don't like?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Controlling plantains

The seeds that the plantains produce get spread all over the place and so all during the growing season newly dropped seeds are germinating and growing so we get new plants all the time. The corn gluten meal can help control germination of any seeds that overwintered but those that are seeded in later would need another application.
The best method of controlling that germination is to grow a good thick turf, mow high, recycle the clippings in place to help feed the grass growing there, water properly, and get the soil into a condition that will grow strong and healthy turf grass that will not allow "weeds" to grow. Tall and thick turf will shade the soil so any "weed" seeds there do not get the sumlight they most often need to germinate.

RE: Controlling plantains

  • Posted by lalala 6 (Metro Boston) (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 5, 10 at 19:56

Thanks for the advice! We will try more corn gluten to prevent new seeds from germinating.

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