Master Gardeners gardening and blogging in the mountains of Colorado. For more information contact your local extension office, wwwhttp://extension.colostate.edu/staff-directory.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Cheatgrass Challenges by Tina Ligon
Cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum
OK, let's spend a moment on one of our favorite noxious weeds - Cheatgrass (downy brome), Bromus tectorum. I have to admit, I admire the tenacity of cheatgrass but when I think of the hours I have spent trying to get it under control on just my 2 acres, I start to question my sanity or at least a possible diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. To say the least I can't walk outside without pulling some up by its roots.
According to the CSU Factsheet No 6.310, http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06310.html/, "Cheatgrass is an annual—it lives for only one year/growing season and then dies. It reproduces by seed and is termed a winter annual because its seed germinates from fall into winter. The plant reaches maturity in the spring and turns brown and dies with the onset of summer."
New tillers on plant with mature seedheads
OK today is July 12, definitely well into the onset of summer and this is what I pulled up. A plant with a mature seed head and a new seed head forming and new tillers, all on the same plant that should be dying right now. Yes, I know, I am ranting but hasn't this plant read the literature. Just because we had a hot, dry spell, and then a nice rainy period, doesn't mean it is supposed to have a second and third family.
So my point is, get out there and check your yards, this plant has not given up trying to make more seeds this year. As I said in the beginning, I do admire its tenacity, but I am not giving up. I will be out there scouting and pulling up more tomorrow.