Tag Archives: Chemical Control

Boo……. THISTLE …….. Boo ……….. GO AWAY ALREADY!!!

Anyone that has had a run-in with thistle around their yard knows how tough this broadleaf weed is and how difficult it is to completely eradicate.  With it’s deep and wide spreading root mass and sharp pointed prickly foliage, it will not pull out of the ground easily (or completely) without a fight.  Pacocha - Thistle Foliage Close UpThe only effective and proven way we have found to completely kill mature thistle (in particular) is by applying a selective or non-selective (site dependent) systemic herbicide directly to it’s foliage.  Often times several spot herbicide applications are needed over the course of many growing seasons (3 to 5 years) to completely kill thistle found growing in a regularly maintained lawn (in particular).Pacocha - Large Thistle Found Growing in Bed Along Walkway

Tips on controlling and keeping thistle out of your lawn and landscape.

  • Thistle can have a biennial or perennial life cycle (specific thistle variety dependent)
  • Never plant a new lawn or create new gardens without first completely eliminating any/all resilient thistle plants first.
  • When applying a systemic herbicide, allow plenty of time (4-8 weeks) for the liquid herbicide (selective or non-selective – site dependent) to translocate through the entire plant (from foliage to root mass) thus ensuring a complete kill.
  • It is much easier to chemically eradicate thistle when therePacocha - Thistle Growing in Lawn are no other desirable plants (manicured turf grass, ground cover, vegetables, etc.) located in close proximity to the unwanted weed.
  • Always eradicate thistle found in lawn areas AND adjacent plant bed spaces.  Since thistle spreads by seed, rhizome and/or cut root segments (variety of thistle dependent) it will continue to spread anywhere it can unless totally eliminated.
  • Thistle seed can remain viable in the soil for up to 20 years!!
  • If you have a bird feeder in your yard, try to avoid using bird feed that includes thistle seed.
  • Continue to monitor your property for young thistle plants and try to manually remove them whenever possible.  If manual removal is no longer a feasible option, spot treat them with a systemic selective (lawn areas) or non-selective (areas where no other desirable vegetation is located) herbicide before the plant is allowed to flower and set seed.Pacocha - Multiple Thistle Growing in Lawn
  • Canada thistle (in particular) is considered to be a noxious perennial weed in Illinois and should be controlled by the land owner whenever found (Illinois Noxious Weed Law – 505 ILCS 100/)Pacocha - Thistle Growing in Lawn Adjacent to Plant Bed

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have or to schedule an on-site consultation.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Three basic types of turfgrass weeds

The basic definition of a weed is any plant growing in a place that it is not wanted.

The three basic types of weeds found in managed stands of turfgrass are grassy weeds, grass-like weeds and broadleaf weeds.

1). Grassy Weed (Creeping Bentgrass, Quack Grass, Orchard Grass, Crab Grass, Nimblewill, etc.): Similar growth habit as desirable turfgrass. Grassy weeds are monocots, meaning they produce leaves one at a time.  Leaves are usually narrow and veins within the leaves run parallel to one another.

2). Grasslike weed (Yellow Nutsedge and Wild Garlic): Are not true grasses, but belong to the sedge and garlic families. From afar look similar to grasses, however sedges have triangular stems and develop from nutlets.  Wild garlic leaves are hollow.

3). Broadleaf weed (Dandelion, Plantain, Clover, Thistle, Spurge, Violet, Creeping Charlie, etc.): Have net-veined leaves that are normally wider than grass leaves.  Broadleaf weeds are dicots, meaning they produce leaves in pairs.  Usually color and flowers make broadleaf weeds very easy to identify.

Only after unwanted weeds have been properly identified can a suitable control plan be implemented.  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any weed identification challenge or control requests you may have.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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5 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Control Methods

The goal of any successful lawn and landscape management program is to optimize (not maximize) pest control over time.  A pest is any insect, mite, nematode, rodent, fungus, weed, or other organism that is problematic to humans, structures, plants or animals.  Integrated pest management often combines non-chemical and chemical control methods to reduce economic and aesthetic losses from pests.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Control Methods.

Cultural ControlThe continual improvement of plant health so it can successfully compete against pests (soil preparation, fertility, proper planting, plant selection, mulching and mowing).

Mechanical ControlThe physical elimination of a pest (cultivating, pruning, hoeing, weed removal, mowing and hand picking).

Biological ControlThe use of living organisms to lower pest populations (predators, parasites and pest diseases).

Preventative ControlThe act of preventing the initial entry and spread of pests (quarantines, inspections and certified seed).

Chemical ControlThe application of a pesticide to reduce a pest threat (to be used only after proper scouting has confirmed pest populations to be large enough to warrant chemical control).

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn and/or landscape related pest concern you may have.  Thank you for your time!

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Yellow Nutsedge: The problem “grass like” weed that will not leave your lawn without a fight!

If there is one persistent type of unwanted vegetation that is very difficult to control in most lawns it has to be the “grass like” weed named yellow nutsedgePacocha - Yellow Nutsedge 1 (aka yellow nutgrass).  This weed makes itself visible from mid to late summer and tends to love sun exposed wet soil lawn areas.  Yellow nutsedge is a warm season perennial plant that grows from underground tubers (nutlets) and spreads via underground horizontal creeping stems called rhizomes.  These underground tubers can easily survive many years in the upper foot of soil if negative site conditions are left unchanged.  Pacocha - Nutsedge DiagramEven though yellow nutsedge plants resembles turfgrass from afar, a closer look reveals the truth about this stubborn “grass like” weed.  The leaves of the nut sedge plant are stiffer and thicker than most grasses, are V-shaped (cross section) and grow in sets of three from the base.  Yellow nutsedge can be controlled non-chemically and chemically.  The easiest way to eradicate small colonies of yellow nutsedge is to maintain a thick lawn and simply pull the nutsedge plant out of the ground as soon as you see it.  Special care should be taken to also remove the underground tubers/nutlets (if possible) for best long term control.  Another common non-chemical way to eradicate yellow nutsedge is to improve the drainage of the effected turf grass area.  Since yellow nutsedge loves wet moist soil, a simple drainage improvement or reduction in irrigation can eliminate this particular weeds ability to flourish.  The final way to control yellow nut sedge is chemically.  Pacocha - Yellow Nutsedge 3It is very common to require multiple herbicide applications over many growing seasons to achieve desirable results.  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to evaluate the overall condition of your lawn and to discuss the possible need for chemical yellow nutsedge control.  Thank you for your time and we look forward to being of assistance to you!

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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for a healthy lawn and landscape!

Integrated Pest Management is the process of continually scouting for lawn and landscape related pests and injury.  Pests can be defined as a weed, disease, rodent or insect that can cause injury.  When managing the health of your lawn and landscape it is very important to understand the goals of Integrated Pest Management.  The two primary goals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to protect the environment and provide economical pest control up to the economic and aesthetic thresholds that you the property owner specifies.  It is very important to be able to identify what exactly a pest is, if the pest is susceptible (or non-susceptible) to control and if a pest is injurious to the desirable managed plant or not.  Pacocha - Grubs Found Just Below TurfThere are four primary control measures that are routinely used in IPM; Cultural, Mechanical, Biological and Chemical.  Cultural control involves growing the desired plant to be healthy through proper fertility, planting, plant selection (less susceptible plants), mulching and mowing.  Mechanical control is physically eliminating a pest by cultivating, pruning, hoeing and weed pulling, hand picking or burning and burying.  Biological control utilizes living organisms such as predators (lady beetles, spiders, insect-feeding birds), parasites (parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, etc.) and diseases (B.t. bacteria, Beauvaria fungus).  Lastly chemical control features the use of pesticides that are primarily quick, effective and short-term.  It is highly recommended to consider non-chemical methods first.  When applying pesticides you will need to consider any/all environmental impacts, proper timing and location of application.  Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Resistance can be experienced from continual use of same mode-of-action pesticide.  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for professional lawn related care in the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban area.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we look forward to being of service to you in the very near future!

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