The Green Thumb: Downsides to spring-like weather
by Sue Davis / For the Tracy Press
Feb 22, 2013 | 2029 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I have been enjoying the bit of warm weather, and then the rain earlier this week to keep my winter garden watered.

The snow peas are starting to produce, the cauliflower is growing larger, onions and garlic have sprouted and the chives are starting to come back. Most of my fruit trees have swelling buds now, and poppies and cosmos are starting to come up around the pansies and violas.

It sounds positive, doesn’t it?

But when I look outside, all that is green isn’t good. I have weeds growing everywhere.

Some are grasses in the wrong place, some have stickers already, some have long taproots and some are just spreading everywhere. I need to get rid of them before they bloom and send out a host of seeds to renew their claim on my garden and yard next year.

Pulling all of the weeds feels impossible right now, so I’m researching pesticides today.

If you are struggling with the bounty of spring weeds, you might want to check the University of California Integrated Pest Management website: www.ipm.ucdavis.edu. The site has current information on all kinds of weeds, as well as information on pesticides.

The other pest that is entertaining my dogs but causing trouble in my yard is one or more moles.

The critters are so flagrant, they’ve made several tunnels under the lawn, with escape holes in a lot of different places.

My garden, at least, remains safe from them, because I have raised beds lined with chicken wire, which keeps them out.

I have been putting fresh garlic into their holes, which seems to be working right now.

The UC website also addresses moles and other pests that might be a problem for you.

• The Green Thumb is a column by Tracy’s master gardeners. University of California certified master gardeners are available to answer gardening questions from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 953-6112 or mgsanjoaquin@ucdavis.edu.
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