By: Montessa Young
     Fall is here and the end is in sight.  No more weeding, mowing and watering just ahead…right?

     Yes….but there are a few more things we can do to not only prepare our yards for winter but also be ahead of the game when spring arrives next year.  Weeds that are perennials will come back bigger and stronger next spring if not taken care of this fall and two that are on the “most not wanted” list are Field Bindweed and Canadian Thistle. 
Pulling or digging either of these thugs will result in a temporary fix at best.  The root systems are so extensive that it’s not possible to dig them out without them returning and may create more weeds as the fragments of the roots will sprout as new plants.
     Early fall between August 15 and October 15 is the best time to control perennial weeds with a systemic herbicide because cooler temperatures signal the weed to move most of its energy to the roots to store for winter, thus herbicides also are moved by the plant into the root systems.   Once they start growth in the spring, they rapidly develop with goal of reproducing and it becomes more difficult to control them.   To get the best control of perennial weeds with herbicides, the weeds have to be actively growing. 

     Field Bindweed is best managed with 2,4-D or quinclorac and Canadian Thistle responds best to glyphosate (Brand name of Roundup). These are products readily available for homeowners and other options do exist for farmers.  Read and follow all label directions carefully when applying herbicides.
To see the entire University of Idaho Extension Washington County Autumn 2017 Newsletter, please call (208-414-0415) or stop by UI Extension Washington County (485 E. 3rd Street in Weiser).