Tag: japanese stiltgrass

Eradicating Japanese Stiltgrass – The Saga Continues

This past October at Go Outside Festival, I spoke with two lovely, master gardeners about our little (okay, massive) Japanese Stiltgrass invasion. They each used two different methods of controlling stiltgrass in their own gardens.

One of the ladies used a pre-emergent herbicide. This product creates a barrier in the soil to prevent stiltgrass seed from germinating. In our U.S. planting zone (7), you apply the herbicide in late December and again in early April. There are two options, granular and a liquid concentrate. The granular is broadcast and needs moisture to activate. The liquid is diluted with water and sprayed on.

Once the product is dry, it’s safe for pets and people to re-enter the area. (But I probably would wait a few extra days just to be safe.) Always use common sense and do your homework before trying a new product in your landscape.

While Prodiamine controls chickweed, dandelions and other common weeds, the master gardeners assured me this product will not kill turf grasses and other desirable plants. If you apply the herbicide in spring, wait until fall to put down grass seed.

A patch of Japanese Stiltgrass in our woods.

The other master gardener is using the time-tested method of hard work and vigilance to remove her stiltgrass. She was not comfortable with using an herbicide, so she is hand-pulling this invasive weed. She admitted to having a much smaller property, and scourge of stiltgrass than the first lady.

The pre-emergent gives me pause. I really don’t like the idea of using it on our property, but I also don’t see how we’ll get rid of the stiltgrass without it. I think for now we’ll stick to weed-eating the wide swaths of stiltgrass in our woods, and hand-pulling it from our banks and lawn. My back aches just thinking about that; but I have to remind myself how truly terrible this stuff is.

In happier news, I present to you the best gardening gloves ever! Seriously, these are so good. My mother-in-law gave these to me about 15 years ago, and they finally developed a hole after years of heavy use. The perfect gift for the gardener in your life. If that’s you, treat yourself!

I’ll leave you with a pretty picture, because all those brown weeds are just depressing. Spring is right around the corner!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 Β© Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

A Gardening Public Service Announcement

Last year we noticed small patches of a short, feathery plant pop up on our property. Having no idea what it was, we decided to wait until spring to see if it flowered. We’ve had several pleasant surprises in the yard by taking a wait-and-see approach.

Bad idea.

Spectacularly so.

This year, easily 20% of our property is covered in this grass. It’s running amok throughout the yard, but especially in woodland areas. It’s not persnickety about growing conditions though, and proving that by boldly marching out into the gravel driveway. So far, we’ve found it in every planting bed except the herb garden.

Thanks to a Facebook post by the Virginia Native Plant Society, we now have an ID of our little scourge. It’s Japanese Stiltgrass, and it seems to have no redeeming qualities. This grass is incredibly invasive, chokes out native plants, and offers no benefit to wildlife. This jerk plant actually changes the chemistry of the soil, stunting the growth of competing plants!

Wut.

The dried plant first came to the U.S. as packing material one hundred years ago. In Tennessee, the seed found it’s way into the soil, and spread from there. Japanese Stiltgrass can be found as far north as New York, south to Florida, west to the Mississippi River and even into Texas.

One plant can produce up to 1,000 seeds. Because the seed travels by water, animals, humans, and even vehicles, they spread like wildfire. Speaking of which, the grass dies back in the winter and blankets the forest floor with a dense mat of dry stems and leaves; fuel for forest fires.

Small patches are easy to pull by hand; use a weed-eater or mower for large sections of this mess. It’s best to mow or weed-eat in August or early September before the grass flowers and sets seeds. This is the perfect time of year to work on getting rid of it. Cut the plant all the way to the ground if possible. We haven’t gone the grass-selective herbicide route just yet, but we will if mowing doesn’t control this invasion.

We still have work to do on the hill above the rhododendrons.

For more reading on Japanese Stiltgrass, go here: http://blueridgeprism.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Japanese-Stiltgrass-SAR-5-27-17-VDOF-w-BOX-FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1fGYAQPSLRRIZxFBzKNfNGlBcBFMBzLXWeKYWgVKdvCw_T1HMbSDv72f4

https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/japanese-stiltgrass-identification-and-management

We’ll have to remain vigilant for years until we are sure it’s all gone. If that doesn’t work, we’re getting a goat. They seem to be the only animals that will eat it.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 Β© Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.