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 Post subject: Spurge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Location: Waco,TX
I send pictures of this weed that is killing my St. Augestine grass. It has become invasive. I have two great bif brown patches in my front yard and the weed keeps popping up and moving toward the good grass.
The Dirt Doctor thinks it ight be "spurge," but how can I get rid of it?
In Feb, I spread Cotton Bur Copost, then in March I pout out Texas T fertilizer, and have sprayed several application of Garrett Juice, Molasses, Seaweed, etc. etc.
HELP before it spreads further.
Rick in Waco


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:45 am 
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Hi Rick. There are only two approaches for getting rid of broadleaf weeds in St Augustine. One is to pull it out and the other is to spray it with vinegar on a hot, sunny day. If you spray vinegar it will also kill the St Augustine. The good news is the St Augustine can grow back, but the bad news is that some of the spurge may grow back, too. Repeated applications might be needed. Still, once the spurge is gone, the St Augustine that did not get sprayed will fill back in.

I usually dampen the soil with at least 1 hour of watering and then pull the weeds by hand. Even then I have to repeat a few days later because I miss some. Usually I don't have to pull them more than three times to get them all.

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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:05 am 
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Location: Waco,TX
Thank you very much. I too have pulled weeds until my fingers are so sticky that I have to wash them before I continue.
During this time of year, after I apply the vinegar, can I top dress with a layer of compost to help the grass grow?
I've also removed some of the dead Thatch from between what grass clumps that are left.
Would planting some fresh sprigs also help the grass grow faster?
Thanks for your previous help.


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:49 pm 
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In theory both of those things should help the grass grow back. I say 'in theory' because I've never heard of anyone doing either one.

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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Location: Waco,TX
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
In theory both of those things should help the grass grow back. I say 'in theory' because I've never heard of anyone doing either one.


You say you've never heard anyone trying to spread compost to help the soil? Isn't that what Howard Garrett preaches when he talks about improving to composition of the soil?
Did you look at the pictures of my two grass areas that were destroyed by this "Spurge?" If you did, how fast do tyou think the existing St. Augestine will grow to cover this area again; maybe before the end of growing season?

Look forward to hearning your reply.
Rick in Waco


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Thought I'd replied to this several days ago but that must have been when my computer started crashing (ouch).

You did not say you wanted to help the soil with compost. You said you wanted the grass to grow faster. Those are two different things. Your soil might not need any help. From what you have said you had done or were going to do, I don't see why the soil would be hurt. Vinegar spray never hits the soil but if it did, vinegar is an acidic carbohydrate (food). If it hits the alkaline Texas soil, the pH is neutralized quickly.

St Augustine can send out runners (stolons). Those can grow at about 10 feet per season. If all the runners came in from all directions, then you could have a few more inches of coverage yet this year. Chances are it won't get dense this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Location: Waco,TX
Thank you David.
I will continue to pull these pesky "spurge" weeds, and use compost.
Probably won't use Cotton-Bur Compost anymore, but will use my own (from my compost bin) and supplement with another store-bought variety.
RB in Waco


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:18 pm 
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My compost is made out of other peoples' leaves. When they put the live oak leaves out in the spring and fall, I pick them up.

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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Location: Waco,TX
We'll, fall is over and we're into the cold of winter.
The two areas we've been talking about all summer and fall are basically dead of any of the St. Augestine grass, and what ever is there now is weeds.
I recently applied full strength vinegar, with liquid molassses, and orange oil to the entire yard. I've noticed the weeds yellowing and dying, but my question now is when do I apply the ammendments to improve the soil [dry molasses, etc., or what]?
I'm thinking about tilling the soil in these areas come spring and laying new sod when the growing season starts; good idea?
Looking forward to hearing from you again!


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:46 pm 
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HELP!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:25 pm 
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First and most importantly, never till soil where you plan to put grass. Tilling fluffs the soil unevenly no matter how much you churn it up. The result 3 years later, after it has fully settled, is a very bumpy yard.

With an organic program you can do pretty much anything any day of the year and benefit from it. I'm not a big fan of molasses but there are a lot of people I respect who have seen benefit from using it. I think the longer you have been organicthe less it works for you. I could be wrong but I've used it at every strength there is and it never showed me anything. Personally I start fertilizing when the very first spring buds appear on the earliest of the trees. In San Antonio that is close to Washington's Birthday.

If you want to put down new sod, you can do that any day of the year. The problem with grass in Texas is fungal disease so look for a variety that is resistant to disease. I believe Floratam is the one everyone likes now...unless the grass is in the shade.

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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:57 am 
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I too have pulled weeds until my fingers are so sticky that I have to wash them before I continue.
During this time of year, after I apply the vinegar, can I top dress with a layer of compost to help the grass grow?
I've also removed some of the dead Thatch from between what grass clumps that are left.
Would planting some fresh sprigs also help the grass grow faster?
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Howdy!

I use a 'thing' that sort of looks like a big fork to pull weeds. I wish I could tell you the name. I see them at Hardware Stores in the garden area. It brings up the whole weed easily. It also works on Nutgrass. I go down deep and bring up the 'nut.'

I had a build up of thatch in my St.Augustine along my house and fence area. I cleaned it out, using this 'thing.' It was a long process, but I enjoy working in the yard! Anyway...once the thatch was removed, I mixed in some peat moss with the very hard soil to make the area more level with my grass. It was the beginning of summer and the St. Augustine filled in quickly.

I know peat in not considered organic. But I used it as a top dressing on my grass to help break up thatch and soften my very hard soil. I have been battling fungus for a few years and peat was suggested.

Good luck!
Char

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Char Harris,
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 Post subject: Re: Spurge
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:38 am 
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Quote:
I too have pulled weeds until my fingers are so sticky that I have to wash them before I continue.
Been there. I started wearing gloves for every garden activity. The ones I like have a very thin rubber palm and fingers and the back is a nylon knit. When I'm finished I wash my hands with those gloves on using foamy soap. The are so comfortable I an put them on right away and not have that "ewww!" sensation. These gloves were very inexpensive at the garden store but they were $25 at the box stores. This year I see they have come down to $5 or so at the box stores.

Quote:
During this time of year, after I apply the vinegar, can I top dress with a layer of compost to help the grass grow?
Yes. Keep it thin. One of my neighbors ordered far too much compost this week and spread it all. I was going to take a picture of an example of applying too much compost but they called the guy back to blow it into the turf. It looks good (under the grass blades) but it is an awful lot of compost.

Quote:
I've also removed some of the dead Thatch from between what grass clumps that are left.
Would planting some fresh sprigs also help the grass grow faster?
Yes, it will spread faster; however, St Aug runners will surprise you.

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