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Henbit can be mowed until next fall
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By Rodney Wallace
Pawnee County
K-State Research & Extension
LARNED — It will not be long before the plants with the little purple flowers start to make themselves known in home lawns and the plants are called henbit.
If you are not really sure this is what you have, check the stems.
If they are square rather than round, you have henbit. Though henbit actually comes up in the fall, most of us do not pay much attention to this weed until it starts to flower. Trying to kill it at this late stage with an herbicide is usually a waste of time and money. Though the plant may be burned back, it will rarely be killed.
So What Do We Do?
Remember, this is a winter annual. It comes up in the fall, matures in the spring and dies as soon as it starts to get hot. All that we can do now is keep it mowed until nature takes its course.
However, there is something we can do next fall that will help next spring. Henbit usually germinates about mid-October. Spraying with 2,4-D, Weed-B-Gon, Weed Free Zone, Weed Out, or Trimec in early November can go a long way toward eliminating henbit next spring. The plants are small during the fall and relatively easy to control.
Choose a day that is at least 50 degrees F so the henbit is actively growing and will take up the chemical. Spot treating will probably be needed in the spring to catch the few plants that germinate late. Use Weed Free Zone, Speed Zone, Weed Out, Weed-B-Gon, Trimec, or one of the special henbit herbicides early before the henbit has put on much growth.
Brand names appearing in this article are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned.
Keep mower
blades sharp
Lawn-mowing season is upon us once again. Remember that dull blades can give the lawn a whitish cast.
A dull blade does not cut cleanly but rather shreds the ends of the leaf blades. The shredded ends dry out, thus giving the lawn that whitish look.
A sharp mower blade is even more important when the turf starts putting up seed heads in a month or so. The seed head stems are much tougher than the grass blades and, therefore, more likely to shred.
Under normal use, mower blades should be sharpened about every 10 hours of use, unless you forget to pick up all those small tree branches that have fallen.
Fertilzing cole crops and potatoes
Did you planted potatoes or cole crops such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower around St. Patrick’s Day? 
If so, they are near the time when they will need a little fertilizer boost.
These plants need to mature before summer heat arrives, so they must grow quickly while the weather is cool. A sidedressing of fertilizer about 3 weeks after transplanting helps the plants continue their rapid growth rate.
Use fertilizers high in nitrogen such as nitrate of soda or blood meal at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 feet of row.
You may also use lawn fertilizers that have close to 30 percent nitrogen such as a 30-3-4 or 29-5-4 but the rate should be cut in half to 1 pound per 100 feet of row.
Do not use lawn fertilizers that have weed killers or preventers. Fertilizer must be watered in if timely rains don´t do that job for you. 
K-State has a sheet available that gives recommendations on how to sidedress specific vegetable crops. It can be found at:
Controlling Weeds in Strawberries
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits, but gardeners often have problems with weed control.
Strawberries form a mat of plants, so hoeing is difficult, and gardeners must pull weeds by hand or use herbicides.
Unfortunately, homeowners do not have any weed preventers available for use on strawberries. However, we do have an herbicide that is a grass killer. Poast (sethoxydim) can only be used after the weedy grasses have emerged. Poast can be sprayed directly over the strawberries without harm. Do not use within seven days of harvest. You can find Poast in Hi-Yield Grass Killer and Monterey Grass Getter.
Brand names appearing in this article are for product identification purposes only. No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned.
Care for
spring-flowering bulbs
As spring-flowering bulbs go through the flowering process, keep three care tips in mind:
1. If practical, remove spent flowers with a scissors or a hand pruner.  This allows the plant to conserve its energy for bloom the next year rather than using it to produce seed.
2. Be sure to allow foliage to die naturally - it is needed to manufacture food that will be stored in the bulb and used for next year’s flowers.
3. Don’t fertilize. The roots of these plants start to shut down after flowering.  Fertilizer applied at this time is wasted.
Instead, fertilize during the fall at the time bulbs are normally planted and again in the spring when new growth pokes out of the ground.
For information, contact Rodney Wallace, Pawnee County K-State Research and Extension, (620) 285-6901; or e-mail