Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Weeds Are Growing Faster Than My Garden … What Can I Do?

It sounds like you have the very situation that Webster uses to define the weed: “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.” Weeds are nature’s way of protecting and often enhancing our soils, but they can be destructive and obnoxious. Removing them will require an assessment of the type of weed(s), size of the area affected, surrounding plants, ability to physically remove them, or the need for chemical application, and the selection of tools and chemicals to get the job done.

Certain weeds are actually controlled by Nevada Statute, and Douglas County ordinance. These are known as noxious weeds, and include Canada thistle, Puncture vine (also known as “goatheads”), Whitetop, and others. You can see photos of noxious weeds at various stages of their development online at
Douglas County. Ever see your pet or child suddenly pull up limping/hopping in pain in the spring or summer? That’s a good indicator that they’ve discovered a goathead. Keep your family safe and protect your property value – do your weed maintenance.

Nevada weed laws include: NRS 555.150 Every landowner or occupier, whether private, city, county, or federal shall cut, destroy, or eradicate all noxious weeds as required by the state quarantine officer. NRS 555.170 Should the owner/occupant fail, neglect, or refuse to comply; the state quarantine officer may notify the board of county commissioners for the county in which the property is situated. The county board of commissioners shall proceed to have cut, destroyed, or eradicated the weeds in accordance with the initial notice. NRS 555.180 Control costs not paid by the owner shall be a lien against the property and shall be collected as provided by the law for the collection of other liens.

Weeds are well intertwined with mankind as we cohabitate on this planet. Weeds can indicate soil deficiencies and help with the remedy, can provide cover for other crops, can stabilize the soil, some have insect repelling abilities, some provide beauty and fragrance while others are hideous and hurt. Some historic weeds are now known as vegetables and embraced by man. Others offered medicinal properties and are now called herbs. Weeds can present interesting dilemmas. Consider this- would you rather see green weeds with flowers by the roadside, or the debris like that we regularly have to pick up at our property that was thrown from passing vehicles such as coffee cups, beer bottles and chew cans? The weeds serve to cover such human trash.

Some weeds are clearly good for us – others are a menace and must be controlled.
Weeds come and go in cycles as the weather changes. You never know what Spring will bring until the Valley greens up and you take a closer look. Look closely at the greenery on your property - certain weeds are lethal to livestock, others painful for your pets and children. It isn’t just the rancher’s responsibility – we all need to keep the Valley safe. Some weed seeds lie dormant in the ground for 5-10 years before weather circumstances cause their sprouting. Timing is important for weed control – get them before they go to seed.

Our Advice: Identify the weeds that are on your property. If you have noxious weeds you must take action – it’s the law. Questions - contact the friendly and very helpful Douglas County Weed Contact, 782-9835 for help in identifying them and developing an eradication plan. Get help – some weeds will multiply like starfish if you don’t remove them completely. Eradication can be by: a. Mechanical means, i.e.- hoe and sweat, with adapted equipment, b. Chemical means, the nature of which will vary according to the specific weed and its location, i.e.- in a vegetable garden, or on a roadside, or c. organic means, i.e.- mulching with organic materials. You can hire professionals to apply pre-emergent chemicals to stop them before they get started, or to safely eradicate them for you. There are many resources available to you … use them and take action.

Weeds … get on ‘em and stay on ‘em or they will grow like … weeds! Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, or , 775-781-5472.

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