Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.
How can I get rid of khaki weed?
The khaki weed is a native of tropical America and has become a serious pest in the Southwest. It is difficult to kill, especially in its mature stage.
The best time to treat is in the spring or early summer with an approved, broad leaf, post-emergent herbicide for lawns. Recommended products include: Weed-Be-Gone Max, Trimec or Spectracide. All of these have a combination of three or more active herbicides in them.
Because this weed is a perennial, pre-emergent herbicides will not reduce your current weeds. It will, however, kill new seedlings as they sprout in the spring. (Special thanks to Jon Green, CEA-AG Extension Agent, Parker County.)
Can I use horse manure on my vegetable garden?
Horse manure can be used, but it requires careful selection, processing and application. You want manure from animals that have not been exposed to herbicides or other harsh chemicals.
Once you have found a healthy source, manure must be carefully composted so that it is completely decomposed; otherwise you will introduce unwanted parasites, pathogens and viable seeds into your soil.
To compost manure, place it in a pile and add garden waste, lawn trimmings and other organic materials if you wish. Add water if it becomes dry, and stir it every two or three days. Finished compost manure has a rich, dark crumbly texture that smells earthy and not overwhelming.
Composted manure should be spread sparingly, about one-half inch of finished compost mixed thoroughly into the soil around your plants.