Area better because of Stringer

Published 11:29 pm Saturday, January 12, 2008

I want to begin this week by saying thank you to someone who has spent a considerable amount of time working to improve the quality of life for Adams County citizens. Mr. Bryan Stringer has spent 31 years working as the district conservationist here in Adams County with the NRCS. Since 1977, Mr. Stringer has worked to secure over $28 million in funds to aid landowners in Adams County, thus creating a better environment, healthier ecosystem and higher quality of life for all Adams County citizens. We appreciate his dedication to the citizens of Adams County and wish him a great retirement where he plans to hunt, fish and spend time with his grandchildren.

Q. I have a weed I have been spraying that I cannot kill, why?

There are some weeds that are extremely tolerant to herbicides, horsetail or Equisetum arvense is a prime example of one that is common in our area. The only way to eradicate some of these weeds is through mechanical means, digging them up! Controlling these plants is often easiest by not planting them in the first place. Other common problems that allow weeds to survive herbicide applications are inaccurate dilution rates of herbicides, improper herbicide selection for plant species, or poor application methods. Please be sure to read the labels before you spray to make sure you are using the products accurately. If you are uncertain about spraying, I would recommend you hire someone that is certified and knowledgeable.

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Anyone that has a weed problem they cannot control will like what we are about to offer. At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 we will have a special program at our office on invasive plants and weeds. The class is free to the public; please call our office to reserve a spot.

Q. What are some signs to look for when investigating dead plants?

First understand if you garden plants will die. However when plants die, don’t just cut them down and throw them away, dig them up and look at their roots. Examine them for problems that might have killed the plant. For example, if a dead plant has roots growing in circles, it was probably pot bound before it was planted and someone failed to tease the circular roots loose before planting. Many problem gardens I have looked at in the area have soil so hard roots cannot penetrate. If the roots have rotted you can assume the culprit is poor drainage, soil fungus, or both, modify the bed to improve drainage or build a raised bed. You can also loosen the soil and add organic matter so the water runs through it more quickly. There are several other problems that can cause loss of life in plants, learn to investigate plant loss, it will allow you to learn your gardens imperfections and help correct problems in the future.

Just a reminder, we will be starting a 10-week Master Gardener class on Feb. 26. If you like these columns you will love the class. It will be taught by university professors and content area specialist, it covers a variety of topics including; basic botany, soils, propagation, lawn care, weed science, entomology, fruits and nuts ornamentals, plant diseases, invasive plants, vegetables and much more. For more information on any of the mentioned programs please contact me at 601-445-8201 or e-mail

David carter is director of the Adams County extension service.