Weed Control | Hydroseeding/Revegetation | Soil Preparation | Tree Care | Pasture Management | Habitat Enhancement/Conservation
Can I spray weeds on my own land?
Yes, you can spray weeds with herbicides as long as they are not restricted herbicides. Only certified pesticide applicators are licensed to spray restricted herbicides. It is unlawful to use any pesticide (including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides) in any manner other than is specified on the pesticide’s labeling.
What are the benefits of hiring a licensed commercial pesticide applicator to spray my weeds?
Rigorous educational and field experience requirements must be completed before being issued a license to commercially spray pesticides. Pesticides (including herbicides) can be very useful for controlling weeds, but they can also cause harm to the applicator or nearby plants and wildlife if not used properly. Professional applicators will ensure your weeds are controlled in a safe and effective manner.
Are there things I can do to prevent weeds from growing on my property, other than spraying them or pulling them?
Yes, there are preventative measures and other methods of control you can take to stop weeds from spreading and growing on your property. One of the most effective measures of prevention/control is making sure your neighbors know the importance of weed control and how their weeds can affect your property.
Why do the same kinds of weeds keep coming back, even though I stay on top of spraying and pulling them?
Landowners may notice limited success with controlling certain weed species due to a variety of factors. There are millions of different weed seeds in the soil seed bank, just waiting to germinate when the conditions are right. Not only that, but weeds are extremely adept at taking advantage of poor growing conditions (areas where desirable plants have a hard time growing) and spreading quickly. Integrated pest management is the most effective way to prevent and manage weeds on your property. Correctly identifying what weeds are present, knowing what conditions favor individual weed species, and understanding how and when they reproduce are essential when developing a weed management plan for your land.
What are the different kinds of herbicides used to control weeds and how do they work?
- Nonselective herbicides: Chemicals that kill all types of plants. A common example is glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and many other herbicides.
- Selective herbicides: Chemicals that kill specific types of plants, such as grass plants or broadleaf plants.
- Contact herbicides: Chemicals that kill the plant only where the chemical touches it. To be effective, the entire plant must be thoroughly covered with the product. They are quick-acting and useful in controlling annuals, biennials and seedling perennials.
- Systemic herbicides: Chemicals that are absorbed through the leaves or roots and move freely throughout the plant. Application to part of the plant will kill the entire plant. Systemic herbicides are effective against most plants and are recommended for perennials. They take time to be effective, and may be soil- or foliage-applied.
Soil-applied materials may be selective or nonselective, depending upon the material and the rate of application.
Why is hydroseeding cheaper than sodding, and which method of lawn establishment is best for me?
Hydroseeding is cheaper than laying sod for a few reasons. Mostly, there are fewer labor costs that go into producing the product. Sod rolls must be harvested, transported and installed usually within 24 hours of cutting it out of the ground. Installing sod requires more laborers than hydroseeding, and laying out individual sod rolls takes longer than spraying down seed. But there are reasons to choose sodding over hydroseeding. After sod is installed, you only need to wait a couple weeks before you can use a riding mower on it and not have to worry about damaging roots or sliding the sod rolls out of place. Hydroseeding usually takes between three to six weeks for grass to fully grow, soon after which it can be maintained as a lawn with regular mowing. Sod also does a better job of suffocating out weeds initially. With hydroseeding, you can expect to see more weeds at first. Usually a few mowing cycles will promote grass development to the point where they out-compete the weeds, but a selective herbicide application is often required shortly after your lawn is first mowed. Overall, the initial cost of hydroseeding and the possibility of additional weed control costs are still lower than the cost of sodding. It often comes down to whether the landowner is ok with waiting a few more weeks for a lush green lawn, or if they want more instant gratification. Both options will produce a lush green lawn if the soil is properly prepared before installation, irrigation is adequate, and mowing is regularly used to promote grass density and root development.
What is the difference between hydroseeding and hydromulching?
Although these two processes are similar and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, hydroseeding refers to the process of combing water, seeds, fertilizer or other dissolvable additives in tank and then spraying the mixture onto a prepared soil bed or existing vegetation. Hydromulching uses the same combination of products as hydroseeding, except mulch is added to the tank and mixed up before spraying. There are different kinds of mulch, each with their own benefits, but most mulches used in hydromulching operations are composed of ground up paper, wood, or a combination of the two materials. Sometimes, a two-step application is used where first we hydroseed to ensure good seed to soil contact, and then hydromulch over the top of that to provide a layer of protection and moisture control for the seeds.
What is a no-till drill seeder?
A no-till drill is a kind of seeder that is typically used to establish vegetation without disturbing the soil. The benefits of this method of seeding are that soil loss through erosion is eliminated and there are less weeds to deal with immediately after seeding (weeds love disturbed soil sites). This method of planting is ideal for existing pastureland or rangeland, as well as on bare soil.
What does a soil test actually test for? Why is it important?
Most soils in Colorado are not ideal for growing anything other than native species that have adapted to these conditions. Colorado soils are usually high in clay content and have alkaline pH values, both of which are difficult for plants to grow in. A soil test will determine whether organic matter is needed to improve pH levels and soil texture, as well as if your soil is lacking in any major nutrients plants need for development.
Do I really need to prepare my soil if I’m going to be installing sod?
Most of the time. Although sod rolls come with grass that’s already developed roots, their roots won’t do much good for the grass if they can’t penetrate the soil and soak up nutrients. Heavy clay soils and compacted soils can prevent root development can result in water-logged lawns that starve grass roots of oxygen. Adding topsoil or amending the existing soil with organic matter will assist in water infiltration and drainage, improve soil pH, and increase nutrient cycling.
What does integrated pest management (IPM) consist of for tree care, compared to weed control?
Just as with weed control, using a combination of pest management efforts and refraining from applying pesticides immediately will result in better long term tree health and pest control. With weed control, we don’t want to kill all the plants, just the weeds. The idea is similar with pest control on trees: we don’t want to kill all the insects on the tree, just the ones causing damage. There are many beneficial insect species that already help us control pest species on trees, but sometimes these pest species can have a population explosion due to a weak tree immune system or other environmental variables. Boosting your tree’s health with supplemental watering and fertilization can allow it to defend itself against pests naturally, which is often more effective long-term compared to a pesticide application.
What are some of the pests and diseases you treat for?
We are equipped to treat and/or prevent attacks from damaging aphids, spider mites, borers, sawflies, IPS, scale, moths, galls, leaf-miners, and beetles.
What might a grazing management plan include?
Based on your budget, the size of your intended pastureland, livestock present and stocking rate goals, we can develop a plan starting with a soil and vegetation analysis and resulting in recommendations for pasture improvements, grazing patterns and timing, stocking rates, and adaptive weed management. If you already have a grazing management plan in place, we provide the services necessary for you to accomplish your grazing goals.
How can I benefit from implementing conservation activities or wildlife habitat enhancement on my land? Am I eligible for financial assistance, tax credits or tax breaks?
We encourage you to visit any of the web resources provided on our Habitat Enhancement/Conservation Service page. Contacting your local NRCS office or Land Trust is also a good place to start.