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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 3:10 pm 
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On today's radio program Howard emphatically stated that mowing in (not bagging) weed seeds will not cause them to spread or get any worse. This seems contradictory to what I understand to be ways that weeds do spread. Means such as birds carrying seed and depositing it in new areas, wind blowing seed from area to area, weed seed in compost that didn't get hot enough to render it sterile, etc. etc.

So how is it that a weed seed, that is returned to the soil when mowing, does not germinate and continue the cycle? Is it a matter of seasonal timing? Typically I do mulch as I mow, but this year areas that are infested with poa annua (see the "bunch grass" thread in this forum) I'm singling out and bagging until it's under control.

Can someone explain what it is that I'm obviously not getting here? :oops:

~Dave


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 8:23 pm 
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Dave,
I was kind of shocked when I heard that to. That is the reason that I have been bagging it so far this year. To try to stop the spreading of the weed seeds. But not to worry, I have been using the grass clippings for mulch in the garden. Also I learned something else new today. Howard had stated that we should water the newspaper before putting the mulch on. I wish I would have known this last week during the high winds. I fought to keep the paper down before I applied the grass mulch. The next time I mow I am going to try this. I have a few places left to cover in the garden. Then I can start to fill the compost bins up for the fall. Every week I listen to Howards program, I learn something new. Just like reading the posts here on the forum.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 9:50 pm 
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With all due respect, just like w/ crape myrtle pruning, one talk show host's opinion does not science make.

Don't spread it, bag it... I'm convinced! :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 10:36 pm 
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Billusa99 wrote:
With all due respect, just like w/ crape myrtle pruning, one talk show host's opinion does not science make.

Don't spread it, bag it... I'm convinced! :wink:


That's pretty much how I'm looking at this. Until I hear/see evidence to the contrary, I'm not planning on spreading around weed seed if I can help it. I don't consider myself a weedaphobe by a long shot, but I just don't see why anyone would want to make things worse when it's not necessary.

In any case, if there's something I'm missing regarding this issue, then I'd really like to have it explained.

~Dave


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 9:48 am 
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Bluestem wrote:
Mow the weeds before the seed matures. You are going backwards bagging the clippings. Healthy soil/ grass will not support weeds.


You obviously do not have poa annua, which goes to seed in about 36 hours. :cry:

Define weed. Of course healthy soil will support weeds... just much fewer of them because the healthy grass tends to choke them out.

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 12:06 pm 
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Bluestem wrote:
Annual Bluegrass can be controlled with different management of the turf. Set the mower height higher. Don't water heavy in the fall. Use corn gluton meal in the fall.


Thanks, but we have been through all that already is another post. All of us do CGM in fall too. Please see here: http://dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3317

And, to quote from here: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7464.html

Viable seed can be produced just a few days after pollination, which allows the plant to reseed even in frequently mowed turf.
...
Removal of grass clippings may help reduce the number of seeds that reach the soil.


And from here: http://www.weedalert.com/weed_pages/wa_annual_bluegrass.htm
Annual bluegrass excels with high fertility and irrigation.


I believe, also, that we all have good, fertile soil (the rest of the St. Aug and the lovely clover have not complained). I also attempted to stop watering it the last 3 weekends in a row, but the heavens above decided differently.

So, in closing: Don't spread it, bag it... I'm convinced! :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 1:38 pm 
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Bluestem wrote:
Healthy soil/ grass will not support weeds.


I have been at this organic thing for 2 decades plus. Not that I know it all, but I do know that this statement is totally incorrect. In this location alone, I have been at the organic tending for 10+ years. I mulch only, haven't bagged since @ '90. I mow high, water infrequently, and used only organic fertilizers and ammendments. I have a very fine collection of weeds in my turf.

[rant on]
Don't get caught up in the hysteria that often accompanies organics. An organic program is no silver bullit for your lawn and garden problems. I choose to use organic products in my household and lawn/garden because I think it is the right thing for my family and the earth (yeah I'm an old hippie). I accept the shortcomings of this approach. When people extol the wonders of organics, omitting any shortcomings, they risk turning off new recruits who may abandon using the good organic products because they don't get the results promised.

As far as HG goes, I began reading his column in the early 80s and then found the radio program. I was immediately a convert; to the point that I could almost answer the radio program questions word for word along with Howard. Over the course of the years, I found that though HG has some very good suggestions, his suggestions are not always spot on (though he doesn't really let on).

I am a Ground Crew member, own most of HG's books, and really enjoy this forum, but I also accept and acknowledge the "warts". This forum will continue to grow and flourish if people will be honest with the newbies as they ask their questions. When we suggest a solution, let people know if you have tried the solution. Be honest, let them know if you actually used it or if you've just read about it. Was it successful, optimally marginally, or not at all?
[rant off]

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 2:58 pm 
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Thanks for stepping up and saying all of that Mr. Clean. While I'm a very new comer to the organic approach by anyone's standards, I too choose it primarily because I think it's the right thing to do. The fact that it also, in my experience, makes for a beautiful lawn and garden on par with the alternative is obviously important to me as well.

In the alomst 3 years that I've been exclusively organic I've run across conflicting opinions and advice on a few varied subjects. Organic nurserymen, various books, Howard's much appreciated info, and the experiences of people in online communities such as we have here. At times I've been given bad advice or seen some claims made that, even though I'm fairly new to all of this, just seemed implausible. One of the more mentioned/respected totally organic nurseries in town has in fact lost my business for life due to repeatedly giving me bad/incorrect advice that, at the time, I was too clueless to see as such.

Quote:
When people extol the wonders of organics, omitting any shortcomings, they risk turning off new recruits who may abandon using the good organic products because they don't get the results promised.


I absolutely couldn't agree with you more.

~Dave


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 4:16 pm 
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Agree too, Mr. Clean!

And that's why I am so pi$$ed off at the explosion of this poa stuff this year, after 6 years of organics & no issues, because no matter how one stays the course, there's always a "gotcha" around the corner! :wink:

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