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In Texas, Everything is Bigger... Including the Weeds

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

If you live on the Blackland Prairie of north central Texas, chances are that you come into contact with some of these annoying weeds. And unless you know what kind they are and how to deal with them, they'll continue to be a problem in your garden and across your lawn. Here are some of the more common kinds.

When it comes to tough customers, these weeds can be serious competition. Called invasives, these Texas weeds have been identified by the Texas Agricultural Service as potentially damaging to the environment. And whether you live in open range or covered wood, there's a distinct possibility that you'll come in contact with these weeds at some point during your home ownership.
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Once you have identified your weeds as belonging to one of these groups, you need to take the proper steps to rid your property of them. As always, please be mindful when using herbicides of any kind as they can be a health hazard if handled incorrectly.

Common Texas Weeds
  • Russian Knapweed. Also known as hardheads, these noxious perinea can grow up to 1 meter tall with dark, creeping rhizomes. Pulling up the shoots has no quality effect on its spread. Continuous application of a herbicide is the best known method of treatment outside of specialized breeding.
  • Ailanthus. Also known as the copal tree, this rapidly growing deciduous tree will grow along your forest line and choke out native species. Again, herbicide treatment at the base and in the root structure has been deemed the most powerful method of control. 
  • Garlic Mustard. This cool season biannual herb is a special problem for your garden throughout the fall months. Effective management of this weed requires a long commitment due to its five year viability in the soil. Cutting the weed close to the stem will help control this Texas weed.
  • Cheat Grass. If you have a home on a field, cheat grass poses a dangerous fire threat. Cheat grass is a winter annual that can be extremely flammable in dry conditions. If you hand pull this Texas weed, make sure you get it low near the base or the stalks will regrow.

Contact your local Texas environmental authority if you have any questions beyond what is covered here as well as tips for successful control of these and any other weeds common to your area.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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