This winter season has really become a challenge for everyone. With temperature oscillations of close to 40 degrees in the same week, the winter really looks like spring at times. Even the royal empress tree at the park is responding to the warm temperatures by beginning to bud. One of the real questions becomes to when the spring really starts and when those springs weeds will germinate? If we have another cold spell before too long, then those triggered buds will suffer and the impact will be seen all year long. My suggestion is to not consider these warms spells and consider it still a winter season, and do not prune heavily, since those tender tissues will become even more stressed.
A common weed over lawns an pastures this week is Henbit. When referring to henbit, R. L. Duble, for aggie horticulture wrote: “Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a cool season, annual broadleaf weed. Seedlings begin to emerge in early fall and grow throughout the fall, winter and spring. Henbit can dominate turfgrass in the spring throughout the southern region. Although henbit is not known for any herbal or medicinal purposes, this plant is used in flower arrangements because of its unusual leaf shape and arrangement. Henbit, a member of the mint family, has characteristic square stems. Stems are slender, ascending or prostrate, and freely branched at the base. Stems may root at the lower nodes. Leaves are opposite, nearly circular, deeply veined, hairy and petioled. Upper leaves clasp the stem and the lower leaves are distinctly petioled. Roots are shallow and fibrous. Flowers, conspicuous in early spring, are tubular, pink to purple, and borne in the leaf axile. Seeds are borne in a pod. Henbit is most effectively controlled with herbicides in the fall while plants are small and immature. Products containing dicamba, MCPP and 2,4-D have demonstrated effective control in the fall and early spring. In dormant bermudagrass, glyphosate, diquat or metribuzin will control henbit. If applied prior to germination, products such as surflan, bensulide, pendimethalin and simazine also provide good control of henbit. Follow label directions on all products recommended for henbit to obtain the best control”.
For more information on this or any other agricultural topic please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443.