One of the more interesting aspects of doing GardenLine, all these years later, is seeing new problems crop up. As an example, when I first started doing GardenLine back in December of '95, Virginia Buttonweed was not a real problem. Now, it's a consistent and persistent weed that requires our attention regularly. I guess the same can be said for diseases, such as Take All Patch. While it was never known as much of problem just 10 years ago, we now know of its insidious nature.
As with those maladies, we've eventually produced tip sheets in our weekly email tips and permanent website tip sheets to combat and control such trouble. Well, I hope I'm doing the same thing, and getting an early beat with this week's tip sheet on the newest weed worry that has introduced itself to our landscapes -- Basketgrass!
Basketgrass, a.k.a. Woodgrass, Annual Jewgrass or Mary's Grass, is commonly found in moist environments, but that's not to say it can't crop up just about anywhere. The best way I've heard the weed described, and I tend to agree with it, is that the leaves look like miniature leaves from bamboo plants.
As with most grassy weeds, it can be very persistent and when left untreated can really take over an area, much like Virginia Buttonweed. It seems to always rear its head in late spring and early summer in the Houston area, at about the same time that Crabgrass comes calling. Not so coincidentally, the same method to control crabgrass will be the same to eliminate and prevent Basketgrass.
In other words, there is no specific weed killer that will take out Basketgrass, that won't also kill our Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia lawns. However, like all weeds (especially grassy weeds) it can be prevented with pre-emergent herbicides as I suggest in my Lawn Fertilization Schedule. Once it is up, you have to use non-selective herbicides to kill that which is up and thriving. That would be anything like Eraser, Killzall, Finale, or any glyphosate herbicide, and organically with any of the 20% vinegar solutions.
You may also have heard me mention and organic crabgrass killer from time to time on the program, and the good news here is that AgraLawn Crabgrass Control also has a label for Basketgrass. The problem, as I see it, is that this product is quite expensive and somewhat hard to find. So, if you have an massive infestation of Basketgrass or Crabgrass for that matter, it may not be very cost-effective to use AgraLawn. That and it's only a temporary solution, since it doesn't kill the weed seeds. Hence, the pre-emergent herbicide aspect of my lawn fertilization schedule is so very important in controlling weeds.
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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