Weeds? The remedy could be in your kitchen

Drought might be a landscape’s biggest enemy, but sometimes too much rain can bring problems of its own, as this reader found.
QUESTION: “Following some recent heavy rain, I noticed a LOT of tiny bright green weeds suddenly sprouting up through the mulched beds in front of our house. I mean there are hundreds of them.
“My question is this: Is it safe to get rid of them by spraying them with Round Up? The beds contain several established evergreen shrubs, no small plants or flowers. The prospect of trying pull up each and every one of the little pests is almost too much to imagine, so I'm hoping I can get rid of them some other way, but of course I don't want to risk damaging the shrubs. What do you suggest?” – Mike H
ANSWER: Cheryl saw your question and said, “Put some white vinegar in a spray bottle and have at it. The vinegar in cooperation with the summer sun will kill off weeds. It may take a couple of good sprays, but you have to be stronger than the weeds. You can do it!”
Good advice, to which I would add this. Stir up the mulch every so often to disturb the roots of the little weeds. Do this in the hot part of the day so the ones on top do not have a chance to re-root. Round Up is good if the weeds are a certain height but not before that. A benefit of Cheryl’s solution is that it’s all natural. Use ordinary white vinegar, full strength. However, you still have to take the same care as if you were spraying Round Up and be careful not to spray the vinegar onto your non-weed plants.
A few days later, I received this e-mail from Mike: “Steve, I’d read one of your Plant Man columns that included a question from someone looking for highly concentrated vinegar to use as a weed killer. Because of that, I didn’t expect much from the ordinary vinegar I bought at the supermarket, but decided to give it a try. I put the vinegar in a plastic spray bottle and carefully sprayed the baby weeds. For good measure, I also sprayed some weeds coming up between the cobblestones in the front walk.
“When I looked the next day, the weeds I had sprayed had all shriveled up! As you suggest, I will stir up the mulch a bit and keep the vinegar spray handy for the next time the weeds emerge.”
QUESTION: “I have a Kwanzan cherry tree about 5 feet tall. It was doing GREAT… then a deer ate the leaves and as it pulled away it snapped the trunk (below the branch development). It was still hanging on so I taped it back up hoping it would heal. What should I do?” – David McDonald
ANSWER: There’s really not a lot that can be done over and above what you have done already. Frankly, the chances are it will not come back from the trauma caused by the deer.
However, one thing you can try is to angle-cut the tree at the base about 3 inches from the soil. It will sucker out stems if the tree is still viable. When most of the stems reach about 6 to 12 inches, cut off all except the best. You may have to stake it but probably not.
If your tree has a good root system, the roots will cause the “new” tree to grow to maybe where you were before the deer damage. Good luck!
You might also want to invest in a product called Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent. You can buy it as a 40 ounce concentrate or as a Pump & Spray combo pack that includes a 48 ounce pressure sprayer and 6 ounces of Liquid Fence, enough to make three quarts of repellent shat should be enough to treat 1,500 square feet. If you need some shopping information, drop me an e-mail.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve’s free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
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On Jul 16, 11:11 am, " snipped-for-privacy@Greenwoodnursery.com"

What ever solution (Round-up or Vinegar)-simply take a used 2 liter bottle from your recycle bin, cut the bottom out. Then, put the top of the bottle close to the place where the weed emerges and spray. No worries of the spray traveling to precious plantings. This is a hint my daughter taught me and it is a great idea.
Mary
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