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Foxtail management in wildflower garden

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Dually00-00, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Dually00-00

    Dually00-00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    No sure if this is the right spot for discussing this but am open to any pointers. We seeded a new wildflower garden in the spring and flowers are plenty but now are mixed with lots of foxtail. Any suggestions on management of foxtail mixed with wildflowers .
  2. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    Might try fusilade. Says it is safe over the top of a lot of flowers & ornamentals.
  3. Dually00-00

    Dually00-00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Thanks for the info !
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,049

    You posted your question to the organic section & got a chemical answer. Which is OK if that's what you wanted.

    This link provides info on both chemical and organic methods.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,551

    Foxtail is an annual like crabgrass--it will die at frost. You don't need chemicals--until next year. LOL!
    Wildflower meadows require a lot of hand weeding--unless you can tolerate a lot of weedy non-flower plants and grass. Can you train goats to eat the grass and skip the flowers?

    However, since the foxtail is an annual which drops seed in the fall--you should be able to use a granular crabgrass preventer in the spring and prevent most of the foxtail. You will have to use an organ-grinder type of belly-carried fertilizer spreader and walk over the area; the fertilizer would probably be helpful in any case. Not organic--but maybe you could mix organic fertilizer (like Milorganite) with it--that would make it eco-friendly.
    Naturally, you cannot seed wildflowers at the same time as using a pre-emergent--you have to wait 8 weeks. Planting perennial or annual plants is OK of course.

    I suggest adding a few clumps of perennial garden flowers (sort of domestic--not exactly wildflowers). This would add a bit of extra color. And feel free to add a few (or a few hundred) clumps of domesticated annual flowers in the spring. Sunflower for instance. If you have enough flowers--the grass won't even be noticed--might take a lot. LOL!

    You may need to thin out by hand any weedy flowers that are too prolific--like queen Ann's lace for instance. Sweet pea is a good choice for wild flower meadows--but it can be too prolific, spreads too fast at times. Keep an eye out for Canada thistle--spreads fast--may need hand weeding.

    Around here we can't burn the residue, so the best time to mow (at 4 inches) is in the spring about tax day--April 15. Try to be mowing before the new plants and new grass have started--so you are mainly getting rid of last years brown residue--plus a few weedy trees and brush.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  6. Dually00-00

    Dually00-00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    We wound up hand weeding the foxtail and thanks for all the help . GOOD INFORMATION !
  7. dallen

    dallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Wildflower/natural prairie stands take a few years to establish. http://www.prairiemoon.com/ has a lot of good information on getting a natural wildflower stand going. Mowing is crucial the first few years. Knock down the cold season grasses/weeds in mid-to-late June to allow the warm season forbs and grasses exposure to the sunlight.

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