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 Post subject: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:51 am 
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Sorry, I haven't searched to see if this has been answered but I'd like to go completely organic on our campus but I don't know how we can deal with nutsedge and bermudagrass in planting beds. I've been trying a propane torch lately and would like to go "all the way" organic but not sure how to deal with these particularly troublesome weeds.

Will look for fireant controls elsewhere.

Brad


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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:36 am 
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It would be worth your time to visit the Dirt Doctor library (linked from the home page of the site) and simply look up nut sedge and Bermuda grass on their own. And fire ants. There are lots of solutions for the nutsedge and the ants. For Bermuda, some years I'm tempted to try napalm. . .

Mechanical removal of Bermuda - don't use a tiller or you'll break the rhizomes and spread it further. Nutsedge is one that Howard recommends killing with kindness (dry molasses applications) and fire ants have a variety of treatments, depending on where they are.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:42 am 
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Very familiar with how bermudagrass spreads. I think it's sometimes considered the WORST WEED IN THE WORLD... unless you're trying to grow a sports field in warm climates.

Thanks for the feedback. I just heard Dr. Anderson speak recently and he suggested that improving the soil could help prevent weeds but I'm not so sure about these two.


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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:21 am 
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I absolutely agree! Bermuda grass, in my book, is officially the worst weed in the world, and my main method of removal is carefully digging it out and trying to prevent it's crawling back into the beds.

The most toxic weed in my world is poison ivy, and is the one and only thing that ever sees the "R" word (rhymes with "moundup"). Only because the rash hits so hard and so fast that I need to get the shot now if I come into contact. There was a patch in the yard when I first moved here.

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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:25 am 
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The "R" doesn't work that well on poison ivy for me unless you can do repeated applications. That is another tough one!

I have a 400+ acre campus and efficiency and costs are a concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Give Howard a call during his program on the weekend and I think he'll be able to give you a lot of ideas about the types of things you can do. I don't know if (or how much) you'll save any over chemcial landscaping techniques on the scale you describe, but you'll certainly have a lot healthier environment. He works with large campuses and golf courses, so I'm sure he'll offer both encouragement and useful advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:36 am 
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Hi Brad. I have commented on a couple of your other posts just today. It could be the solution to your fire ants and nutgrass is the same solution...but for different reasons.

Fire ants hate sugar. They are the kind of ant that harvests protein and they avoid sugar as much as they can. If you spray 1 gallon per acre of molasses per acre, you should be able to chase the fire ants away.

Nutgrass is a swamp grass. It loves to have soggy roots. It could be your nutgrass areas are places where water pools/puddles up in the rain or under irrigation. Howard talks about spraying molasses to get rid of nutgrass. That never made any sense to me but recently someone told me that molasses opens up the soil. That I can understand. It's a microbial thing. It could be that repeated apps of molasses (same rate as above) would loosen the soil enough to drain the "swampyness" out of it.

With 400 acres you have plenty of land to experiment on. Look around your area for a farm and ranch co-op where they sell molasses in bulk. Generally the price is based on wholesale prices. I have bought it for $0.10 per pound which makes it about $1.10 per gallon. Find a spot to test the molasses and give it a whirl.

Another consideration for the nutgrass is to raise the soil level so water does not puddle. If you have low soil surrounded by raised concrete, then you have a basin in which the water can pool and create a mini wetlands. Nutgrass LOVES this condition.

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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:13 am 
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The ants and nut grass are in my garden. Will the molasses hurt my veg. plants?


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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:20 am 
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On the contrary! Molasses is very good for them. It'll be a fertilizer, and the biological activity that chases off the fire ants is good for the garden.

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 Post subject: Re: Nutsedge
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:59 am 
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Thanks! I will apply molasses today.


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