By Bryon Walters, Conservation Contractor, near Mendota Illinois
In early Spring 2018, I wanted to reduce Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) in a very nice, perpetually wet seep area. This area in late May will be solid Skunk Cabbage, Marsh Marigolds, Blue Joint and Sedges. I wanted to hit the RCG as it was 6-10” high and before the natives sprawled about.
I made a broadcast spray mix consisting of Aqua Glyphosate @ 2% plus Imazapyr (Habitat) @ 1%. It’s vital to add an Aquatic Surfactant to the mix. About 0.25%. That’s 1/4 of 1%.
I adjusted my nozzle to spray a very narrow cone pattern so I could pinpoint my spraying of Reed Canary Grass growing in between existing Skunk Cabbage and Marsh Marigolds. Keep in mind that this is a non-selective, very unforgiving mix. If you accidentally spray something good, immediately snip off the sprayed leaf. These areas had standing water in between plants. Working in a deliberate pattern, I started in the far back corner of the seep, walking back out of the sprayed areas. Do not walk through areas that you just sprayed. I would return 7 days later and I could see yellowing of the Grass clumps I sprayed. Just as importantly, I could see the bright green of the clumps I missed. I then sprayed those green clumps. Returning again in another 7 days, I only had to go in where I saw green clumps that were missed, twice. It happens when you spray a several acre plot that has lots of fallen trees and obstacles to work around.
It’s a good feeling to leave the area for the season after seeing all dead or dying Reed Canary Grass.
These spots will remain bare for most of the year.
The following year, Spring 2019, as to be expected, there were a few new green clumps of RCG. They were treated in the same fashion.
The important part is to work slow and methodically. You can greatly reduce Reed Canary Grass in an area using this method. The natives will quickly fill in the void of the dead RCG.