12 December 2012

Florida Betony

As the days began to cool off, I started making plans to control the cool-season annual weeds in our lawn.  While I was waiting for the proper time to apply preemergence herbicide, a problem weed reared its ugly head - Florida betony (Stachys floridana).  Also known as rattlesnake weed, this cool-season perennial appears in lawns before other weeds, growing from an underground tuber that gives it its nickname.  It is a very aggressive weed, having made its way from Florida in the 1940s or '50s, and will thrive in your yard during the winter as the lawn goes dormant.  There's nothing worse than seeing a brown, dormant lawn, with about 10-20% covered with this green weed.

Not much is known about how this plant reproduces by seed - it is thought that it mainly spreads by growing new tubers - but before we moved in here, this house was vacant for at least two years, so I'm sure a minimal maintenance of the yard provided the opportunity for this weed to spread.

There are several 3-way broadleaf herbicides that can be used for spot treating Florida betony.  In addition, lawn weed sprays containing Atrazine will control this weed.  I'm not a fan of spraying chemicals on the lawn, but with as much as we have here, it might be necessary.  I'll probably spend some warm winter afternoons spot treating weeds in the lawn, but not before I figure out which herbicides to use at:  HGIC 2313 Florida Betony

No comments: