Gardening tips after wet weather woes

Gardening tips after wet weather woes Gardening, like field work in many areas, has been slowed by wet weather.

"It's easy to become over-anxious, but don't take too many shortcuts," is advice to gardeners from Leon Wrage, Extension weed specialist at South Dakota State University.

"Weeds are just beginning to emerge. And even if not many are emerged, you'll find small, white seedlings just below the soil surface."

Wrage suggests gardeners "wait until it's dry enough to till the area. Give the garden crops at least an even start. Good season-long weed control by tilling, hoeing, hand weeding, and mulching are options for most gardens," said the specialist.

Garden herbicides, for those interested, fit some situations, but are not generally suggested for small home gardens. "It's difficult to accurately apply small amounts correctly for each vegetable," Wrage said.

"Herbicides may be more useful for larger gardens or if a large amount of one crop is planted," Wrage said.

Some field crop herbicides can be used on vegetable crops, so sometimes that part of the garden is planted in the field. "Remember, no single treatment can be used on all garden crops. Some have carryover effects for sensitive crops the next year," Wrage cautioned.

Preemergence herbicides keep the weed seedlings from emerging through the soil, Wrage said. Two common ingredients in these products are DCPA or trifluralin. You'll find them under several different trade names. Check the ingredient section of the label on products sold at garden supply centers.

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