Pest Plants

Lichen Quiz

PETER RABBIT? Here is a quick trivia question: What do Peter Rabbit, canaries and moose have to do with lichens? It turns out that Beatrix Potter, the author of the Peter Rabbit tales, was also a respected biologist. She was...

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Chickweed – Control in Fescue

Fall tilling brought up plenty of chickweed seeds that had been lying dormant underground. They sprouted last fall along with my fescue seeds. The recent warm winter weather has caused the unwanted plants to explode across my lawn. But here’s...

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English Ivy – Control

I accompanied my son’s class on an overnight Environmental Education trip to Rock Eagle one year. One of his classmates was a great source of fascination to me. Whenever I stood next to him he was a model of decorum:...

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Bamboo – Control

Technically, bamboo is a grass, but certainly not one you’d describe as a premier turf product. The sprouts that shoot up from the ground each spring can grow 12 inches per day. Common fishpole bamboo usually tops out at 15...

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English Ivy – Dermatitis

My son recently spent a day helping a neighbor clear English ivy from their landscape. He woke on the following day with itchy, spreading blisters on his arm. He says he saw no poison ivy in the English ivy patch…so...

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Air Potato

Q: I have a problem with a lovely but horribly invasive vine that grows little potatoes on its stem. It sprouts and spreads like a demon – nearly taking over a 3 acre lot! What is it and what can...

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Virginia copperleaf – Identification

Q: What is this weed in my garden? A: It’s Virginia copperleaf, Acalypha virginica.  It is an annual weed, which means it can be prevented with the proper pre-emergent chemical. The best pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds is dithiopyr (click for sources). Apply the chemical in...

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