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Re: Using Round-Up in Hosta Beds

I talked to two friends of mine tonight on the phone. Alex at his house
and Russ Parsons in the hospital. Russ is still having a time recovering
from colon cancer. It looks like he may not get back home again until
after Easter. Pray for Russ.

Russ and I talked of Roundup use. Russ has been using Roundup to control
weeds in his 500 cultivar collection of rhododendrons and azaleas for 15
years. For 5 years Russ has used Roundup in his hosta beds and has never
had any problems. Russ sprays before the pips are up. Russ told me two
summers ago he sprayed Roundup on some volunteer hosta seedlings to see
what it would do. They turned a little yellow and then recovered by the
end of the season. Russ Parsons is a strong believer in the use of
Roundup for the control of weeds in hosta beds.

Alex says he has used 48 gallons of Roundup on his hosta garden since
the first of the year. 15 gallons in this past week alone. Alex mixes
his about double the label strength and says he has never had any
problem with damage to hostas. Alex has  5 hostas up 4 inches or so.
Montana Aureomarginata, longipies Aki Tenryu, Chinese Sunrise,
plantaginea and yingeri. He sprayed Roundup around these hostas this
week being careful not to get any on the hostas. Alex says he has done
this many time before and has never had any problems.

Jim Hawes is in Florida. I will stick my neck way out and speak for Jim
Hawes. Alex told me Jim uses Roundup in the spring before the hosta pips
are up. Jim has a tractor mounted sprayer and sprays his whole hosta
garden. I know Jim. He would never hurt his hostas. He feels their pain.

I used Roundup last winter and spring on my whole hosta garden. I had no
signs of any damage to any hostas. I also use Roundup all summer long. I
used Roundup to kill the two acres of wire grass where my garden is now
located 5 years ago. It took 3 sprayings with a 15 gal. battery powered
sprayer on wheels to get 99+ACU- kill of wire grass. I then spot sprayed any
small out breaks of this pesky weed. I cleared two entire acres of wire
grass. Try to do that on your hands and knees+ACE- And it only took 4 or 5
hours total+ACE-

Bob Solberg sprays Roundup on pots of hostas before the come up. This
elimates having to hand weed 50,000 pots.

I think the next major step is the use of  pre-emergence herbicides in
large hosta gardens. There is an article in the journal from several
years back that I need to dig out. I know Sally and Bob Murphy use Preen
in their garden with beautiful results. There are agricultural
equivalents that cost only a fraction of what Preen does. It is used on
agricultural lands by the ton.

I see the proper use of these chemicals as a way for me to maintain a
larger garden in less time than I could without them. As always they
must be used properly. Even dihydrogen monoxide can be dangerous with
improper use.

Of course, then again I could basically be lazy.

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE
zone 7

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