Despite what was a colder than normal Take All Patch has become a cancer of sorts for many lawns around Southeast Texas, but like many ravaging diseases for humans and plants, the disease didn't just happen overnight. There are usually some warning signs. In many cases, as noted in our permanent tip sheet regarding Take All Patch the first of many signs is a yellowing of the grass and there's also a thinning of the grass, not to mention, there's still the symptom that makes the grass lift up like a cheap toupee. But what has interested in me in the past few years, is a symptom pinpointed by John Ferguson at Nature's Way Resources (home of the 2-year-old leaf mold compost) is how a particular weed can also be a tell-tale sign of bad things to come. The good news is IT'S A WARNING SIGN! Here's an excerpt from some research he did on the subject:
So, as I noted above the good news is this is a WARNING SIGN! While Nutgrass and Take All Patch are bad things for the yard, at least Nutgrass can be that early warning detection system to head off Take All Patch before it eats up an entire yard. John Ferguson (as well as many other manic organics) has noted, for years, that compost spread on the lawn is a very good way to remedy such diseases, and I swear by this concept too. In fact, the 2-year-old leaf mold compost, I have personally seen reclaim areas in the earliest stages of Take All Patch.
So, while Nutgrass is NOT AN AUTOMATIC DIAGNOSIS for Take All Patch, at the very least, top dress the suspect areas with compost before you just go about killing the weeds. If, after reading the symptoms and testing for such symptoms yourself (noted in the Take All Patch Tipsheet mentioned above), and it's just plain old nutgrass locked into the soil as well as the roots of the grass, then kill it with any of these three herbicides: Sedgehammer (formerly Manage), Monterey Nutgrass 'Nihilator and Image. Be forewarned, Image can only be used when our high temperatures at 90 degrees and below. However, much like other weed killing tip sheets we've talked you through before, a Surfactant is the key to success in nutgrass control.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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