Questions of the Week – March 19, 2020: First Pair

I’ve had several questions asked of me and posted to Facebook this week that I thought might be worthy of sharing with my e-gardens readers. Here are the first two.

Annual bluegrass photo posted to my FB page this week by N.D. of Trophy Club.

1. “What is this weed growing all over my yard? What can I do to control it?”

This is annual bluegrass (Poa annua). It’s the most common cool-season grassy weed in America, growing from the Midwest clear to Mexico and from coast to coast. Here are the facts you’ll need to know:

Germinates in late September and October. Grows slowly first half of the winter. Proliferates as weather begins to warm in February.

Seedheads begin to appear in late February and are prolific by March and April.

In Texas it dies with the heat of late April and May.

Entire plant at maturity, seedheads and all, will be the size of a grapefruit. And, at the other extreme, you can’t mow it close enough. Annual bluegrass grows in golf greens where it’s mowed at less than ¼-inch.

Your only means of controlling it is to apply pre-emergent weedkiller granules before the seeds ever sprout. Timing is last week of August through first week of September.

Product to apply: Dimension, Halts or Balan, but only the one time just before Labor Day. If you’re late on the application you’ll have the weed for another spring.

Continued Below

Daylily leaves posted by S.P. of Ovilla. Top of leaf on left, bottom on right.

2. “I think I have aphids covering my daylilies. Will they ruin the plants?”

Aphids are common on daylilies and many other plants in early spring. Here are your prime facts to remember:

Aphids give rise to living young without mating, so populations can increase almost overnight.

Aphids’ colors will vary from green to white to yellow to orange to black and others.

Size will vary from pinhead-sized to BB-sized.

They will always be pear-shaped, and they will always have twin “exhaust pipes” sticking out of the sides of their bodies.

They are sucking insects that can carry diseases and that can cause puckered, distorted growth.

Aphids are easily controlled by many organic or inorganic insecticides, or you may be able to blast them off the leaves with a hard stream of water.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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