Saturday, July 19, 2008

Noxious Weeds

What are noxious weeds?

The term of “noxious” in this description means non-native and invasive species. Most of the noxious weeds species in Colorado were unintentionally introduced from Asia and Europe as a containment in crop seed or transported on farming equipment. Some were intentionally introduced as ornamental plants, forage, erosion control and wind breaks.

In Douglas Country there are specific weeds that are considered noxious they are as follows:

Dalmatian Toadflax, Diffuse and Spotted knapweed, Hoary Cress, Leafy spurge, Musk Thistle , Canada Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Orange Hawkweed, Perennial Pepperweed, Purple Loosestrife, Salt Cedar, Yellow Toadflax and Myrtle Spurge.

Due to the large native grass areas on and round the golf course we are extremely active in controlling these noxious weeds. The weed that are particularly problematic for us are: Bull Thistle, Canadian Thistle, Diffuse Knapweed, Perennial Pepperweed and Leafy Spurge. Controlling these weeds is a fulltime job that takes up an incredible amount of man hours. I have often said that the it requires more manpower to properly maintain the “native grass areas” versus the manicured rough throughout the golf course.

Bull Thistle

Canada Thistle

Diffuse Knapweed

Leafy Spurge

Perennial Pepperweed

There are four types of control measures: cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical.

Cultural Methods: like prevention, promote the growth of desirable plants. Fertilization,
irrigation, and planting high quality desirable plants, allows plants to out compete
noxious weeds.

Mechanical Control: are the oldest control methods. Mechanical measures
involve disrupting weed growth by mowing, pulling, hoeing and burning.

Biological Controls: involve the introduction of host specific predators from the weed’s native country and the use of animals such as sheep and goats to reduce the vegetative growth of weeds.

Chemical Control: methods use herbicides to kill weeds. Herbicides are most effective when used in conjunction with other management techniques. Always read and follow label instructions with applying herbicides. A good weed management system integrates two or more of these methods into a plan of operation.