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How to prevent cogongrass weeds from taking over your garden

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Whether you’ve completely transformed your garden into native grasses and other ground cover plants, or you’re keeping a traditional lawn, you may not want certain types of vegetation. But some weeds are worse than others.

For example, cogongrass is not only an invasive species, it has been designated by the federal government as a “noxious weed” (which is extremely harmful to local ecosystems).

once confined to the southeast In the United States, cogon grass has spread to other parts of the country.As such, over the past few years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal and state Agencies generally asked for help stop the spread of weed. Here’s what you need to know about cogongrass and how you can help. Stop.

What is cogon grass?

cogon glass (Imperata cylindrica)—Also known as cogon grass, Japanese bloodgrass, and red baron grass, it is believed to have been introduced to the United States (specifically Alabama) in 1911 from Japan as a packaging material. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Not only are cogongrass classified, “noxious weeds” (meaning harmful to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, and/or property), it is also considered “the 7th worst weed in the world.” According to the USDASo what makes it such a threat? Cogon grass grows in patches so dense that it suffocates native plants. It destroys seeds and crops, reduces forest productivity and destroys wildlife habitat.

Where does cogon grass grow and spread?

with Alabama, Cogongrass is spreading It spreads through Mississippi and Florida and is rapidly spreading to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Oregon.also seen in Vermont, Minnesotarecently (May 2022) in Idaho.

The toxic weeds seem to prefer hot and humid environments, but are now venturing into colder climates (not as cold as they used to be, thanks to climate change). So basically, grow as you please.

What does cogon grass look like?

Cogongrass has several characteristics that help identify invasive species, including:

  • It has green or red leaves about an inch wide and sharpened around the edges (when red, it is known as red barongrass or Japanese bloodgrass).
  • feathery white flowers
  • White, fluffy seed heads (appear in spring)
  • Grows about 2-4 feet tall
  • Grows in a circle in either full sun or partial shade

here is the video from Alabama Forestry Commission More info (and visuals):

How to identify cogongrass

How to stop cogongrass

Let’s say you find a cogon grass in your garden or somewhere else in your area. What next?

according to Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health— Working with the USDA and the University of Georgia — Here’s what you should do (and possibly No conduct):

  • Contact your region Forestry Commission Secretariat Also county extension office as soon as
  • Do not mow in, around, or near cogon grass, especially when the cogon grass is in bloom (which means there are seeds, which you can unintentionally spread).
  • Leave the soil in and around the area with only cogongrass as it may contain root fragments (i.e. do not dig, rake, disc or grade) .
  • Do not attempt routine burns in areas with cogongrass without approval from Forestry Commission staff
  • Thoroughly clean all equipment used in or near cogon grass growing areas

How to prevent cogongrass weeds from taking over your garden

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