These trees produce a compound, juglone, that hinders the growth of many plants near those
trees. Juglone is concentrated in the roots, buds and nut hulls
but is also found in the leaves and stems. Tomatoes are
extremely sensitive to juglone.
PURSLANE IS A PAIN!
weed called purslane takes over my vegetable garden every year.
Can you suggest ways to control it?
Purslane is a summer annual weed that thrives
during hot, dry weather. It is a low-growing, succulent plant
that often forms a dense mat over the soil surface. Like most
annual weeds, it is prolific seed producer.
approach to controlling it is to use several different control
options in combination. Begin hand weeding and shallow
cultivation as soon as you notice purslane seedlings
germinating. Mulching is another effective control. A 3-inch
layer of an organic mulch such as shredded leaves, straw or
composted, herbicide-free grass clippings will inhibit the
germination of purslane seeds.
should be applied after the garden has been planted and the
vegetable plants are up and growing. It is helpful if weeds have
been eliminated before applying the mulch.
and other pre-emergent herbicides -- those that work by
preventing successful weed seed germination -- can reduce the
amount of purslane in your vegetable garden. Preen will not
control existing weeds, so it is important to eliminate standing
weeds before application. Follow label directions carefully to
avoid injury to the crops you are growing.
germinate through the growing season, Preen can be reapplied
every eight to 12 weeks. It should be lightly tilled or watered
into the top inch or two of soil to activate its weed control
properties and to protect it from breaking down on exposure to
Organic Weed Control
gardeners may use corn gluten meal. This is the active
ingredient in the Gardens Alive! WOW product as well as Preen
Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer. It is also a pre-emergent
herbicide and should be used much like regular Preen. But it
must be reapplied every four to six weeks to maintain control.
pre-emergent herbicides in areas of the garden where you want to
direct-seed crops such as lettuce, corn or root crops.
SAWDUST FOR GARDEN MULCH?
I use sawdust as mulch after my garden has been planted?
Sawdust can be used as mulch
and is often recommended around blueberries and other plants
that prefer an acid soil. It is best if the sawdust has been
composted for at least six months (preferably one year).
If not, it
can tie up available nitrogen in the soil and create a
deficiency in the plants growing there. You can also add 1/2
pound of actual nitrogen per cubic yard of sawdust to avoid the
problem. Very fine sawdust can pack down and interfere with the
movement of water and air through the soil. Be sure to stir it
up periodically to avoid this problem.
A 2- or
3-inch layer is sufficient to help keep weeds down, maintain
soil moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Avoid piling it up
around the stems of plants, especially if it has not been
determine how much of a given fertilizer is necessary to apply
1/2 pound of actual nitrogen, divide 0.5 by the percentage of
nitrogen in the fertilizer.
10-10-10 is 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 10
percent potash, always in that order. 0.5 divided by 0.1 equals
5 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer added to a cubic yard of
sawdust. It is helpful to choose a fertilizer that contains only
nitrogen, such as urea (46-0-0). It will take about 1 pound of
urea to add one-half pound of nitrogen.
blossom end rot