You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Pull winter weeds before they seed

I like the progression of spring this year compared to last year. I couldn’t keep up with my garden chores last year, and things really got ahead of me.

There is quite a bit happening in lawns, gardens and landscapes. The most prominent problem at this time is the visibility of winter annual weeds. These are pretty much everywhere, with hairy bittercress being one of the worst at this time.

Winter annual weeds are those that germinate in the fall when we have cool temperatures. They hang around during the winter months until the cool spring weather hits, then they take off with a vengeance. Examples of winter annuals include hairy bittercress, chickweed, henbit, deadnettle, prickly lettuce, annual bluegrass and others.

Right now, they are close to going to seed in the Miami Valley, if they haven’t already. If you have any of these in your gardens, you need to get rid of them before they drop seeds and cause more trouble for you next year.

Hairy bittercress is really an interesting plant in that its ability to spread is pretty amazing. If you just touch or brush a plant with seeds, you will notice seeds flying everywhere. Sometimes they fly 6-8 feet from the plant. I have seen this plant become a major problem in landscapes in the past few years. Pull it before it goes to seed.

Winter annuals can be killed with herbicides labeled for their control. First identify the plant and then select the appropriate the herbicide. However, as they get closer to developing seeds, the leaves absorb very little herbicide and it’s not as effective.

There comes a point in time with winter annuals that you are better off pulling them — but again, get them before they go to seed.

The other option to control winter annual weeds in turf areas is to make sure the turf is nice and thick. These weeds grow in open areas and if the lawn is thin, winter annuals take advantage.

After you kill out or pull these weeds, fill in bare spots with grass seed and fertilize to increase lawn density.

Pest control

A final note, gypsy moth and European pine sawflies have hatched. If you have issues with these pests, you might want to start inspecting and determine control options. Both of these are much easier to control when they are small.

However, keep in mind, gypsy moth is a caterpillar and the sawfly is a not; therefore, products that control caterpillars won’t kill the sawfly. Choose your pesticides appropriately and read the label to make sure that you hit the target pest.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes
Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. WJHG reported  that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs. “They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill...
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

Cats have gotten a bad rap, at least according to a new study that found your feline really does like you, even if it doesn’t always know how to show you, and it actually likes interacting with you more than it prefers food. The study from Oregon State University researchers in the journal “Behavioral Processes” also determined that...
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say
Greene County flu cases increased in 2017, officials say

Employees at the Greene County Combined Health District say the normal flu season usually starts in October, and is over by March. But not this year. “I have four babies, all under 6 (years old), and they’re all sick,” Xenia resident Victoia McDaniel said Tuesday. About 130 Greene County residents have been hospitalized for the flu...
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report
Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report

Veterinarians in some parts of Texas have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to media reports.  “The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they’re cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that,” Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital...
7 tips for poison prevention
7 tips for poison prevention

Whether you have a baby, toddler or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child’s body and mind. However, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide, every minute of every day, a poison control center answers a...
More Stories