Saturday, May 16, 2009

Watching Grass and Weeds Grow: Week 8

Not using a pre-emergent to prevent weed growth in a new lawn area is a major mistake, especially in Phoenix. The abundant water has encouraged astounding numbers of weeds to sprout. Arizona's warm-weather weeds are mostly waxy-leaved like spurge, or fuzzy-leaved desert plants, and herbicides aren't absorbed well. Most of the weeds barely slowed down when I sprayed them with a broad-leaf weedkiller.

Most broad-leaf weed killers can't be applied to turf grass when the temperatures are above 85°F, which happens really early in the morning in Phoenix. Some herbicides specify that the daily maximum temperature can't exceed 85, which makes them useless here.

I'm hand-weeding, which in a way is good, because in the course of pulling the broad-leaved weeds I find a lot of small surviving Bermuda grass clumps that are coming from the deep roots. Left alone, these would be huge and well-rooted in a couple of months.

The buffalograss is thriving despite the weeds. The plugs have turned into dense clumps the size of dessert plates, and there are only a few patches of dirt the runners haven't reached.


Anonymous said...

any pics of the lawn

erik kubec said...


Nice blog and nice plugs! I too planted a 'vegatative cultivar' of buffalo grass plugs in our home in Thornton, CO (outside Denver) in May of 2009.

We went with the Prestige plugs because they can stand the cold better than UC Verde, but green up earlier than Legacy.

Weeds were a major challenge last year--especially Canadian Thistle, bind weed, dandelion, and some other clover like weeds.

Be careful spraying any herbicide on your plugs--especially ones that are labeled for buffalo grass and contain 2-4-D.

There are some herbicides available off the shelf that are supposedly rated to be used for buffalo grass, but will kill or stunt it.

Especially be careful in the heat.

This is the second year of the plugs, and I have not irrigated them, even though May has had only 1/3 of an inch of rain so far.

I dug up some last fall to plant trees and the roots had grown 3 feet deep

Lazy Gardens said...

Erik -
Thanks for the extra information.

Anonymous -
Pictures are coming. I just have to get un-Lazy and upload some.