Gardening Tips

The following articles written by Dr. Garden will provide you with solutions to some of your most challenging garden problems.

Weed Control In the Garden

Monterey offers a number of products that fit into fall, winter and early spring weed control programs.

Vegetable & Ornamental Weeder This preemergence herbicide prevents weeds in trees, shrubs, flowers & vegetable gardens. See label for complete list of annual greases & broadleaf weeds controlled. Controls weeds by killing weed seeds as they germinate. Does NOT control existing weeds. Mix 3 oz. in 2 gallons of water and apply to 1,000 sq. ft. area. Water into the soil within 24 hours of application or irrigate with ½” water to activate or poor weed control will occur. Staining may occur on certain materials so water into the soil immediately after application to avoid unwanted discoloration. This product can be mixed with other postemergence weed killers but follow label directions for both products and do not spray over desirable plants if mixed with other products. With up to 5 months of weed control this is a great product to prevent weeds in many areas before they become established and are hard to control!

Grass Getter® To control grassy weeds without injury to desirable plants mix 1 oz Grass Getter and 1 oz. Herbicide Helper (oil concentrate spreader/penetrant) into 1 gallon of water. This can be used on and around flowers, evergreens, groundcovers, bedding plants, shrubs, trees and listed fruit and vegetable crops. Grass Getter controls bermudagrass, crabgrass, foxtail and many other grassy weeds found in the garden. See label for complete list of tolerant plants that can be sprayed with Grass Getter to kill weeds growing in or around. Apply when weeds are actively growing. This product will NOT control nutsedge or nutgrass (See SedgeHammer+ below), annual bluegrass (poa annua) or broadleaf weeds.

SedgeHammer®+ Turf Herbicide® Use this product to control nutsedge (commonly called nutgrass), horsetail, kyllinga and some broadleaf weeds in established lawns, ornamental turfgrass, landscaped and non-crop areas. Mix 1 pouch (1/2 oz.) into 1 gallon water and shake solution until mixed completely. Spray weeds and wet entire leaf surface. Can be used at higher rate to control horsetail (1 oz in 1 gallon water). See label for complete directions for use.

Spurge Power® A postemergence turf herbicide that contains three active ingredients to improve weed control: MCPA, triclopyr, and dicamba (64.7% active ingredients). It does not contain 2,4-D. More effective than other 3-way products on the market. Warm and cool season turf to control spurge as well as dandelion, oxalis, clover, spurweed, mustard, wild violets, Creeping Charlie, and other broadleaf weeds. Do not spray during the day if temperature is above 85°F. Apply in the morning or evening hours. Apply 1 oz. in 2 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft.

Mark-It Blue® A blue colorant that lets you know where you are spraying to prevent skips and overlaps. Ideal for use with Remuda® and other herbicides. Once applied, the color will dissipate in the sunlight. (Can also be used with pesticides and fungicides.) Apply 1/2 – 1 oz. in 1 gallon of spray solution.

Always read complete label for rates and directions for use.

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Dormant Sprays

We get a lot of questions about the proper timing and products to use as a dormant spray on backyard fruit trees. Dormant sprays control diseases such as peach leaf curl, brown spot, scab, etc and insect and mite eggs.

Liqui-Cop® is a true liquid copper that is widely used in agriculture. It is a replacement for the old Bordeaux sprays and Lime Sulfur. Mixing with lime is not required for this product. For fruit trees, we recommend multiple applications. Apply once in the fall after leaves have fallen, and another in the spring or late winter just before the buds begin to swell. Do not apply Liqui-Cop during the bloom period. For a complete list of diseases and plants that Liqui-Cop can be applied to, see the label. Liqui-Cop is very rain resistant. Once the application dries on the tree, it is very persistent.

Monterey Fungi-Max Brand can also be used on stone fruits to control leaf curl, brown rust, and other diseases. For leaf curl, apply at leaf fall, again at Christmas, and just before bud break in the spring. It can also be combined with Horticultural Oil.

Controlling Insects
Scale is a problem on most fruit trees as well as overwintering eggs from mites, aphids and other insects. These can be handled with an application of Monterey Horticultural Oil, a spray oil emulsion made with highly-paraffinic based petroleum oils. Monterey Horticultural Oil should be applied while the trees are dormant. Thorough coverage is necessary because direct contact with the scales and eggs is required for it to be effective.

The above products, if properly applied in a timely manner during dormant months, should provide you with a disease-free harvest the following summer.

Helpful hint: Many people apply Monterey Horticultural Oil and Liqui-Cop together in a tank mix to save time.

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Nematodes: Could this be the the real problem?

Nematodes are skinny, worm-like parasites that feeds on plant roots. Is your annual vegetable garden starting to look wilted and unhealthy even though you have watered it thoroughly? Does your new turf lawn looking stressed? Do your new veggies look like you are over or underwatering them? Is your new plant growth stagnant? Have you noticed browning, yellowing, wilting or thinning?

If so, you may have a nematode infestation.

  • How do you know if you have nematodes damaging your garden?
  • Galls (swollen-looking growths) on your plant roots will confirm the problem.

Organic pest control methods are the best way to control nematodes in your soil.

Monterey Nematode Control is OMRI Listed for organic gardening. It is a water-soluble botanical extract from the Quillaja saponaria tree (soapbark tree) native to Chile. This organic, bio-pesticide provides excellent control of the following nematodes: Dagger, Root-Know, Ring, Root-Lesion, Spiral Sheath and Anguina Pacifica nematodes.

Monterey Nematode Control is labeled for residential use in home orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens and on lawns and ornamental plants. 1 quart treats up to 4000 sq ft.

Application: Apply with a band or broadcast sprayer to the soil surface. Water-into the soil by drip or by sprinklers.

Helpful tips for fighting nematodes: Rotating crops so that a different plant grows on the same plot each year is a useful technique to prevent nematodes from taking over your soil. Tomatoes, peppers and lima beans are resistant to nematodes, so rotating these plants with your other crops is an effective preventive measure. Another practice to keep your soil healthy is to fertilize your soil with compost. This introduces microorganisms that are natural predators to nematodes.

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Poison Oak / Poison Ivy Control

Remember: 6 Plus 6 Plus 1. Use 6 oz Remuda® plus 6 oz Monterey Brush & Vine Control per 1 gallon of water.

Always read labels prior to use: Potential damage to desirable plants can occur if not properly applied.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy are becoming more of a problem in many areas of the U.S. Due to an extensive root system, they become very hard to control. We have tested over-the-counter combinations and found that the most effective is a tank mix of glyphosate and triclopyr (the active ingredients in Remuda® and Monterey Brush & Vine Control). Application of this mix to the active growing foliage from spring to late fall does an excellent job of controlling these pests. The addition of a surfactant such as Herbicide Helper also aids in the control. Fall application before leaf drop appears to be a little more effective than an early spring application. Regrowth the following year may be seen, but spot-treating regrowth is relatively easy. Be sure to thoroughly wet the poison oak or ivy, and do not get on desirable plants.

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Fall and Winter Garden tips

Fall is a good time to prepare the garden for the winter months. The last thing you probably want to think about during winter is gardening, so let’s get it done before it gets miserably cold!

Weed control in the fall is very important in flowerbeds, groundcovers, shrubs and bare ground areas. Apply Vegetable & Ornamental Weeder prior to fall rains and these areas will be weed-free until next spring. Who wants to pull weeds in the winter? In those bare areas where weed growth has already begun, mix Vegetable & Ornamental Weeder with Remuda® to kill existing growth. This will cover both preemergence and postemergence weed control in one application. Vegetable & Ornamental Weeder prevents weed seed germination for up to 6 months!

If you haven’t put down Vegetable & Ornamental Weeder and weeds have already become a problem in your garden, Remuda® and other glyphosate products can be used, but work very slowly in the low temperatures.

For lawn areas, there are many hard-to-kill winter weeds this time of year. Spurge Power is a product that is perfect for controlling broadleaf weeds in your turf. Take care of these lawn weeds now so your lawn can get off to a good start next spring.

If you have any lingering insects around the house it’s a good time to clean up those spiders, ants, etc. Bug Buster II is designed just for this job. Apply around the house, patio, or under the eaves to prevent insects from overwintering in these areas.

The fall and winter months are also the ideal time to treat deciduous fruit trees to control leaf curl, brown rot and other diseases that appear in the spring. Liqui-Cop and Monterey Fungi-Max Brand are both products that provide excellent protection from these diseases. Make these applications in fall and winter while the fruit trees are dormant. These fungicides can also be combined with Monterey Horticultural Oil to control the overwintering of mites, scale and aphids and their eggs.

If you’re looking for an OMRI listed organic fungicide for disease control try Monterey Complete Disease Control. This preventative biofungicide controls powdery mildew, downy mildew, pythium, blight, black spot and many other diseases on vegetables, fruits, nuts, ornamental trees, shrubs and houseplants. When used as a drench, this product colonizes plant roots to prevent establishment of disease- causing fungi and bacteria

That’s it for your fall gardening chores! Get these done early and you can enjoy the holidays and look forward to a great springtime garden!

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Tips for Growing Roses

Roses are one of the first flowers to leaf out and bloom in the spring. Since they come to life early and often under wet conditions, they are attacked by hungry aphids and powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is the whitish area that appears on the new leaf growth. Aphids are generally found on the rose buds. If aphid populations are high, they will destroy early blossoms.

Monterey Horticultural Oil is ideal for controlling aphids. Simply mix a 2% solution (2.4 oz per 1 gallon of water) and apply to the areas where aphids are present. Use a small tank sprayer or hand-held pump sprayer.

For powdery mildew there are several products available for control:

Monterey Complete Disease Control, A broad spectrum biofungicide and bactericide for control of plant diseases in home gardens. Drench application for control of diseases affecting plant roots, tubers, or other parts of plants in contact with soil in the home garden: Mix 1 teaspoon per gallon of water and apply to the soil. Spray application for control of powdery mildews, leaf spots, anthracnose, gray mold, and other disease affecting leaves, flowers, fruit, and other above-ground plant parts of home garden plants: Mix 1 teaspoon per gallon of water and apply directly to plants using a hand pump sprayer or other suitable spray equipment. Spray just enough to wet all leaves and fruit with minimal run-off or dripping. 

Monterey Fungi-Max Brand is also an effective defense against powdery mildew on roses. Use a small tank sprayer or hand-held pump sprayer to thoroughly saturate the entire leaf surface of the rose. Mix 1-2 Tbsp in 1 gallon of water. Repeat at 3 week intervals throughout the powdery mildew season.

Helpful tip: you can mix Monterey Fungi-Max Brand with Monterey Horticultural Oil to kill both aphids and powdery mildew in one application!

Downy mildew also attacks roses in certain areas. If this disease is a problem in your rose garden, you can control it with Monterey Garden Phos. This is one of the few products available to control downy mildew. Mix 1½ teaspoons in a gallon of water and thoroughly saturate the leaf surface. Repeat every 7 days during the spring season.

Epsom Salts. For bigger and brighter rose blooms, a dose of Epsom Salts is a must! Simply apply a quarter cup of Epsom salts around the base of the rose bush and let the rainfall or irrigation carry it into the soil.

Always read complete label for rates and directions for use.

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