Yikes! Dodder is a parasitic annual weed that infests crops and ornamental plants? Alien in appearance this crazy “plant” or weed is a distant relative of Morning Glories. Very limitedin it’s capability for photosynthesis this weed obtains nearly all its energy from the host plant. Seedlings in the soil need to quickly find a host plant and latch on or they die. Take me to your “weeder”!
Once a host is found they latch on creating a dense mat of intertwining colorful stems literally choking the life out of the host plant. Hand removal or removal of the host plant, identification and clean up are the keys to prevent recurrence.
Fall is a fantastic time to control weeds in your lawn. If you struggle with weeds like dandelions in spring, now is the time to spot spray the weeds in your lawn. Pick a sunny day where we’re not going to get rain for 24 hours and take me to your “weeder”. Weeds are vulnerable in fall because they are storing carbohydrates in their root system and so are more susceptible to herbicide applications. Applying controls now does 3 things. 1) Effectively “translocates” the kill into the roots, not just the top, as the weed moves food reserves and the herbicide into the roots. 2) Controls winter annual weeds so they are not a blooming seeding pest next spring. 3) Reduces the number of broadleaf weeds you would have to battle next spring giving the lawn a competitive edge.
Went for a run yesterday down the Kent Trail training for the River Bank run coming up in a few weeks. I’ve enjoyed the Trillium and Trout lilies as well as the May apple on my runs the past few weeks. Running along you also can’t help but notice masses of tall plants in flower. These green plants with scalloped foliage have small white flowers at the top. They come in waves and grow quickly in some cases seeming to swallow up the native wildflowers. Yes the culprit is the dreaded Garlic Mustard.
When it comes to weeds you’ve got pull….and now is time to be pulling. Each plant produces thousands of seeds so if the plant is invading your landscape now is the time to pull before they go to seed. Garlic mustard is ahead of schedule like many other plants due to the unusually warm March weather. This invasive herb comes in waves and will dominate and choke out desirable plants like the Trillium I enjoy on my runs. Garlic Mustard was brought to the United States as a culinary herb in the 19th century. It fits the description be careful what you wish for as it produces lots of seed and spreads like wildfire. Be “weeding” by example, now is the time to identify and pull. Remember when it comes to weeds you’ve got pull.