October 2021 – Chamberbitter

Last month we talked about “An Uncommon Plant” the Anise shrub. This month we will look at just the opposite – a very prevalent weed – Chamberbitter, Gripeweed, or phyllanthus urinaria. It shows up with a vengeance starting in mid-summer. You have prepared your flower beds, cleaned around your shrubs, applied an appropriate pre/post-emergent in the spring, and your yard is looking good. Then comes mid-summer, and here comes this weed that seems to be everywhere. It likes the heat of summer; it is drought tolerant and produces hundreds of seeds for next year’s crop. The good thing about it is that it is easily hand weeded as it has no tubers or rhizomes to propagate. You can use a non-selective herbicide, i.e. glyphosate such as Roundup, applied to the foliage for control. HOWEVER, as these are non-selective you must be very careful in applying these herbicides. In your beds, once they are clean, you can apply ground cloth, mulch – such as 3-4 inches of pine straw or pine bark. There are some pre/post emergents that will work. Atrazine or Change Up but not when the temperature is above 85/90 degrees, etc.. Also, remember that the older any weed gets, it becomes harder to control with a selective herbicide. Check with our County Agent – (251) 937-7176, or your lawn maintenance personnel for specific application references.

The best solution is to be sure your lawn is in good health – as this will minimize any weed problems: https://www.aces.edu/blog/topics/lawn-garden/home-lawn-maintenance/

NOTE: Due to ongoing Covid concerns, there will not be a BCMG fall Plant Sale on 1-2 October. Please visit our website (baldwinmastergardeners.com) and “Like” our Facebook page (Baldwin County Master Gardeners) for information on the 2022 Spring Plant Sale, other events, and gardening tips.

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