|After any fire goes through an area we find in many areas cheatgrass moves in
and becomes one of the top vegetative crops that become established.
While the cheatgreass helps in controlling erosion, it is also an excellent fuel
source for another wildfire.
There have been trials of a new pre-emergent herbicide (plateau) that kills
seeds and allows the trees, shrubs, and perennials to thrive without
competition. Plateau seems to allow many annuals to grow while not
allowing cheatgrass to germinate. Unfortunately this product is not
available to homeowners or landscapers at this time.
There are however several other pre-emergent herbicides which are
available to control cheatgrass. The cost for these products runs about 1
to 2 cents per square foot. Casoron is a granular product and Weedstopper
is the liquid equivalent pre-emergent. The major difference between these
products is that Plateau seems to allow many annuals to grow while the Casoron/Weedstoper
will kill these shallow rooted plants. All of these products can be
applied over dirt, rock, or bark, but be sure to water them into the ground so
that it will penetrate the soil where the seeds reside.
You also may want to apply a soil penetrant to help the burned and baked
soil absorb the water rather than have the water puddle and roll off the surface
along with your pre-emergent herbicide.
For most homes these products will run about twenty to thirty dollars per year
depending upon the areas to be covered.
By David Ruf
Geeenhouse Garden Center