Juliet-P
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Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

Weeds, weeds & more weeds. Please help!!!

I live in Florida and due to the vast amount of constant rain this awful humid swampland gets the weeds have gone CRAZY.


If I spray the entire landscape with weed-b-gone will that kill my desired mondo grass and boston fern??? Or is weed-b-gone safe and won't harm those plants???

I accidentally sprayed everything with tons of '"Total Kill" weed & grass killer. Then I read the directions and it said it will kill everything green. Feeling like an idiot I immediately ran and hosed all the desired plants down. I hope it won't die.

I am trying to find where I can buy Preen granules and put that down to kill all the weeds before they have a chance to sprout. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

wingdesigner
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Yikes! There is a sticky for Round-up and glyphosphate vegetation killers, at the beginning of one of these sections, but I forget which one. I think general gardening or something like that? Sorry, mind is like a steel sieve sometimes. Anyway, when you find it, it may help w/some of your questions.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Maybe you're thinking about the discussion at:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7787

on Round-Up and other similar products.

I find a dandelion weeder ("The weed stick" is what I call it) to be excellent in removing tap-rooted weeds. The shallower rooted ones I grab and twist until they give up and come out of the ground. Bermuda grass I dig up and screen for rhizomes. They do not get composted and they do not get returned to the earth. They are toast.

Persistence is what it takes, especially when the growing conditions are so perfect for native plants--which is what most weeds are. So long as you remove them before they reproduce (set seed heads or send out runners) they will diminish over time.

I went to high school in Tampa, and my yard job was to keep Dad's bermuda-grass lawn FREE OF RUNNERS. He liked the blades but not the runners. :?: So, when I was faced with Bermuda grass in my house in Berkeley, I didn't hesitate. I dug it up and screened it through 1/2-inch hardware cloth into a wheelbarrow. Whatever the screen caught was sent to municipal greenwaste; the dirt minus the roots went back into the ground.

And, after rain is the easiest time to weed. The roots come out of the earth much more easily then than they do later, when the soil has dried and compacted around the roots.

Good luck. Try not to poison the plants again. These toxins kill everything in their path. And they kill any insects so unfortunate as to feed on the affected plants: bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and so on. The chemicals can cut a wide swath through the ecosystem you've shown us pictures of.

Let us know how the battles go.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17
Last edited by cynthia_h on Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dinker
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:36 pm
Location: ks

Not good that is some nasty stuff. if it kills your plants you need to read the lable of the stuff some there is a waiting period before you can replant some it's two years my daughter's husband sprayed arround two trees before she got him stopped he thought it would just kill a small rind around tree so he wouldnt have to weed eat. and it rained after he did it so it killed everything more or less in a 15' area he dug all the dirt he could out and put new down but it still slowly killed the two large trees he sprayed arround

TheLorax
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Cynthia_h, is this the thread you were trying to hyperlink to-
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7787

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

Thanks for the responses. The good news is that my boston fern and mondo grass survived and is in perfect condition. The weeds are also still alive and kicking.

Spot treating weeds with the "weed & grass killer" certainly helps. But I am dying to try Preen granules.... I have to buy it online as for the life of me I cannot find any stores that carry Preen! Home Depot and Lowes didn't carry it now. I find that to be very strange!

Anybody here have any advice on using Preen granules? I keep hearing Preen is fantastic at killing weeds before they ever have a chance to sprout and it's supposed to be safe and not kill your desired plants???

Thanks.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

"Preen" is the name for an entire line of lawn/garden products. Read the label on the one you're thinking of using. Make SURE that it is not toxic to birds, butterflies, etc., that feed in your garden. Also make sure that it doesn't kill earthworms or have toxicity to aquatic life. Both of these points would spell long-term difficulty for you in keeping your desireable plants healthy.

If you can find a label--maybe online?--it will have toxicity findings on it.

Every product has what's called an MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) which spells out known hazards. Maybe you can use an Internet search for the Preen + (product name here) + MSDS.

The safest way to get rid of these weeds is to pull them. Even the use of boiling water will harm your desired plants, unfortunately, because of the close spacing. :(

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

dinker
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:36 pm
Location: ks

I must say you got lucky :D
from what i have read it is a preventer you still have to pull all the weeds out first then mix it in the soil and water it
It prohibits any seed from germinating :shock:
This is just something to think about there is no replacement for good old fashion weed pulling with out paying a price and i don't mean money
People have gotten so comfortable using weed killer's and insect killers that they forget it's Poison they put it on their gardens it soaks in the ground then plants soaks it up then people eat them and so do the humming birds and insects the birds and insects as Cynthia was saying they die with out them gradens wont grow and flowers wont bloom and we are already seeing it :cry:
I hope this doesnt sound harsh i don't mean it that way
Here we share with each other and learn from each other :D

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

It would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to maintain the yard without some form of chemicals. I have already made the mistake of trying that. I don't have the time to spend several hours de-weeding the yard only to have them back full force just a few short days later. Been there, done that. In Florida this time of year, hopeless cause.

You don't understand how fast they are growing right now in the nasty extreme humidity and constant rain every single day. It's awful. I cannot wait to move out of this swampland! :?

I'm going to call Preen and see if they can recommend one of their granules as I have heard they are good...

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

You guy saw the picture in my first post... that's the ONLY area I have weeds. It's in that small area behind my screened in porch... I never see birds or animals back there.

But the weeds completely blanket over that whole area in few short days. It's crazy! :shock:

My first pic was taken after I manually pulled all weeds out by the roots (took me almost 4 hours). The other pic was taken less than 3 weeks later.

TheLorax
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If you must, try a combination of corn gluten meal available at most animal feed centers and Preen Vegetable Garden. The Preen Vegetable Garden product is considerably more environmentally friendly as a pre-emergent than the Preen Gardens product. The combination of the two should provide relief.

Four hours in three weeks doesn't sound that bad comparatively speaking however I do understand the need to manage one's time to the best of their ability. Have you ever considered ditching the plants in that area entirely and possibly removing about 6" of the soil and placing down landscape fabric and 6" of decorative rock or coarse sand? I've seen some exquisitely beautiful xeriscapes showcasing unique accent rocks as well as other natural items that can make a visual statement that might surprise you.

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

I spent hundreds of dollars for the current plants, plus I love the way it looks now as long as the weeds aren't taking over. It has to remain as is... I can't throw more money out the window on landscaping right now especially since this isn't my dream house I plan to live in forever. I wish I lived in Sedona Arizona where it's so dry these aggressive weeds don't stand a chance!

The past week I have been spot treating with grass & weed killer and it helps a LOT. Normally I would already have lots of new weeds starting to grow but now I don't. I am just wondering if maybe putting down some type of granules would help kill the weeds before they even have a chance to sprout. Then overtime they would diminish more and more.

Thanks I will try your suggestion, it will be interesting to continue to test what works best :D

I used to use those black screens that supposedly don't let weeds grow through, they don't work at all. The weeds decided to grow on top of the screen!!! I had to pull and tear it all up.

TheLorax
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Sedona AZ has other weeds that are considerably more injurious to public health than those you are removing. There's a big difference between a nuisance species and an invasive species.

This is just a thought but given your time and money restraints, you might want to consider replacing any ornamentals you lose over time with hardy Florida natives that are well adapted to where you garden. Considerably less fuss and muss once they are established and definitely less frustration for you in the long run. There's the added bonus that the Florida natives are equally as desirable and beautiful yet underused in many Florida landscapes. Even more curb appeal than what you currently have may be able to be achieved with careful planning by working in a few show stopping natives. I'm not suggesting in the least that you rip out what you have, just that you explore options that might better fit into your lifestyle should any of your plants die in the future.

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

Most of my plants are native to florida. Boston fern is EXTREMELY hardy... low maintenance and makes a very thick ground cover and it is native to Florida and grows like crazy. I have no worries with my boston fern dying... it is VERY hardy especially since it is native to florida. I love my boston fern, makes beautiful low maintenance ground cover and very fast growing.

Other than that I have mondo grass. All my plants are very low maintenance.

TheLorax
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I believe you have photographed Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis'. That plant is not native to Florida, it is of garden origin. It is a sport of a straight species of Nephrolepis exaltata originally cultivated elsewhere for the nursery industry. There are straight species of Nephrolepis exaltata originating from Florida that are locally native but many of the plants in cultivation are of South American parentage. Botrytis can claim Boston ferns virtually overnight which is why I suggested that you might want to consider hardy natives in the event anything claimed them. A mixed planting of native ferns is healthier in the long run than planting a bunch of the exact same species. I happen to really love ferns and evidently you do too.

Your Mondo Grass is Ophiopogon japonicus. It's not a native plant either. It's natural range would be Japan. It's not downed by much in this area so I'd classify it as hardy by you although it doesn't normally play well with other plants.

There are other species that might work better for you should you run into any issues with any of your current species. Best wishes with your pre-emergents.

Juliet-P
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Florida

What I have planted is indeed boston fern. I bought them from a gardener who knows their plants really well. The fern I have planted are the type native to florida. It's super fast growing as well. The leaves also never turn brown like some other ferns are prone to.

Mondo grass even if it isn't native to florida... a plant more less maintenance than that is hard to find. All my plants are very low maintenance and hardy That is no issue.

american_gardener
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Location: New Baltimore, Mich. Zone 5b

Juliet..

I was gonna suggest the corn gluten as well. But i see TheLorax beat me to it. It works to prevent any new seeds from germinating. You can mix it into the soil around your already growing plants and sprinkle a little on top of the soil. I don't know why you'd need Preen to do the same thing.. but if ya want use both. And if ya can't or don't go out and find corn gluten.. use corn meal. I hear it works the same way.
TheLorax wrote:If you must, try a combination of corn gluten meal available at most animal feed centers and Preen Vegetable Garden. The Preen Vegetable Garden product is considerably more environmentally friendly as a pre-emergent than the Preen Gardens product. The combination of the two should provide relief.
Now for those weeds on your sidewalk.. ya can use just regular ole vinegar. It dosen't matter what kind.. apple cider or white.. it all works the same. The stronger the better. Don't spray it on anything you don't want to kill though. And ya might want to add more mulch around the ferns there after ya do that.

Hope that helps..
Dave

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

Juliet, I use the Weed Hound (we actually have two and the missus and I will stroll the grounds at cocktail hour, conversing and sipping and weeding. Time well spent instead of using poisons...

[url]https://www.hound-dog.com/weed_hound.htm[/url]

HG
Scott Reil

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