Some garden crops more sensitive to herbicides
By David G. Hallauer
Meadowlark Extension District Agent
Rural northeast Kansas is a great place to farm. Adequate rainfall and some good soils provide great production potential. The same characteristics also make it attractive to people growing fruit and vegetable crops.
Because we have differing crops, we also have different pest control programs. Weeds in a garden are handled much differently than weeds in a hay field. Some noxious weeds even require control by landowners, whether they want to apply a herbicide or not.
Each year, I receive a handful of calls from people with pesticide damage, herbicide mostly. In many cases, the damage is aesthetic only, or short lived. In any case, it’s undesirable.
If you are an applicator, continue to evaluate product labels for updated information and restrictions. Let me know if you need product label information and we’ll see if we can find a reference.
For homeowners, make sure to communicate with farmers and applicators in your area if you are growing crops sensitive to certain herbicides. If applicators know there is a potential damageable crop, they can do things to avoid it. They can’t protect what they don’t know about.
For orchards, vineyards, or other garden businesses, consider registration on the Kansas Sensitive Crops Registry available at www.ksda.gov/pesticides_fertilizer/content/177/cid/517.
Prune fruit trees now
Done pruning fruit trees? If you haven’t, do so now! Here are some general recommendations for mature fruit trees:
Take out broken, damaged or diseased branches.
If two branches form a narrow angle, prune one out. Narrow angles are weak angles and tend to break during wind or ice storms.
Take out all suckers. Suckers are branches that grow straight up. They may originate from the trunk or from major branches.
If two branches cross and rub against one another, one should be taken out.
Cut back or remove branches that are so low they interfere with harvest or pruning. If cutting back a branch, always cut back to another branch or a bud. Do not leave a stub.
Cut back branches to reduce the total size of the tree, if necessary.
Thin branches on the interior of the tree.
Follow the steps above in order stopping if you reach 30 percent of the tree. If you need a visual explanation, go to http://www.hfrr.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=980&cat=Fruit&itemid=64&cmd=view#64.
For more specific information about differing species or young fruit trees, request Pruning Fruit Trees from your local Extension office.