Lilies forum: Using Roundup around dormant lilies?

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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 21, 2013 7:48 AM CST
This is a topic I'd like to learn more about. I read a while back in a NALS Quarterly (I think it was) that Fred Fellner used this somewhat effectively to control Quack or Johnson grass in his fields. I don't have the problem here since quack has not yet invaded the native area where I live--but it's just a matter of time.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Sep 21, 2013 10:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 21, 2013 7:13 PM CST
I do have an area where Quack grass like to creep into my lilies, and I have often thought that this would be an easy solution. But for me, the window of application is fairly short, when the temp is warm enough for Round Up to work, when the weather is right, when I have the time and when there are no lilies present above the surface. Spring is the only possible time for me, as my lilies don't die back in late summer or early and mid fall. So far, something has always precludes my trialing.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Sep 23, 2013 7:30 AM CST
My youngest daughter lives 20 miles inland and there's quack all over out there. She's a finicky gardener. Last summer I saw her on her hands and knees applying roundup to quack with a small brush (in a mixed garden with lilies). She had very little quack, but I told her to stop it because I feared she'd burn the scales--after all, I thought, scales are genetically modified leaves and if any residuals would ever get down to bulb level, it wouldn't take much. Wild morning glory is another she was brushing. I wasn't sure I gave her truly accurate advise, exactly--but, better to be 'safe than sorry'. Roundup scares me.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Sep 23, 2013 7:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
Lilies Peonies
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Ticker
Oct 26, 2013 5:18 PM CST
Why do you think she would have burned the scales? She was applying it to the Quack Grass, correct? Not the lilies, right? Roundup ties up when it hits the dirt, which means it won't move through the dirt to other plants. It's a contact herbicide as in you have to touch the plant you want to kill with it and that plant "ingests" it and it will slowly kill that plant and only that plant. Paint brush was a good idea.

Like Leftwood, there isn't a good time for me to spray a bed in the spring without killing something I don't want to kill. However, I do use a selective herbicide, like Grass B Gone or Over the Top, or something similar, that targets grass and only grass. It takes about three weeks before you see any effect, but it does work. I use it in my peony, lily, iris, and daylily beds. I also use it in my hosta beds. I've never had a problem with it. You just have to stay with it. That's where I fail, I tend to get distracted with something else....
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 26, 2013 5:48 PM CST
Ticker, you're absolutely right about how Roundup works, or rather, doesn't work in the soil. I remember reading Lorn's comment, and thinking the same thing, but didn't have time to respond right then, and then forgot about it. There should be no adverse reaction with lilies or any plant, if no above ground parts are exposed to the chemical. Nevertheless (and as you note, Ticker), that doesn't mean that Roundup goes <poof!> and disappears in the soil. The chemical is still there, along with its accompanying surfactants, etc., until they naturally biodegrade.

One must always use any chemicals, natural or man-made, with judicious caution.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Oct 26, 2013 6:15 PM CST
Well, that's the kind of personal experience feedback I'm looking for--more of those who actually use round up routinely and carefully around lilies, etc. without consequential damage. When it comes to herbicides, I'm scared as the dickens of it. I'm not from Missouri, but I might as well be--got to show me first! Thanks for sharing your experience. It was most welcome because sometimes I get these small dandelions coming up in a clump of tightly packed Asiatics where they are impossible to pull out or dig out.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Oct 26, 2013 6:38 PM CST
Rick, here was my concern, in particular. Since the mechanism of round up is to block the Calvin-Benson cycle; then, if I applied it to a tap root weed like a dandelion' I felt that possibly the chemical would be transported deep into the ground, quite possibly adjacent to a bulb's scales. When the dandelion root dies, that chemical may still be active and since scales are genetically modified leaves, I thought damage was quite possible. The company told me it would be active anywhere for 6 to 10 weeks from application depending on conditions but would not elaborate on it's use around lilium.
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
Lilies Peonies
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Ticker
Oct 26, 2013 7:17 PM CST
Lorn, it's only going to be active in the plant you put it on. It's not going to move from one plant to another underground. I find dandelions are a royal pain no matter what. It seems like you have to stay vigilant with them to keep them from going to seed. When I spray them with Roundup and because it takes so long to kill them they will end up blooming and going to seed right as they giving their last gasp. I've also used Spectracide and it kills the top growth within a day or so, but it tends to make the tap root angry and they will come back with a vengeance. I really think if at all possible digging them out is the best alternative. Believe me, I know that's always possible. I have a huge peony and lily bed in what was my east pasture and that thing kicks my butt weeding it every spring. This next spring I'm going to use newspaper and heavy mulch to help smother some of the crap out. Smiling Best laid plans. Hilarious!
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Oct 26, 2013 8:02 PM CST
Oh, I'll give it try, on my Asiatics and Iris first, before I move on to my specialty crosses, etc. Thankfully, I don't have many dandelions because I cut my grass 'high'. And I don't have many neighbors. All but one does a good job of being pretty much weed free. But that one bad egg always has the rest of us on edge every spring with his bountiful crop of dandelions. We all hope the wind doesn't blow from his direction then.

That newspaper plus mulch really does work! Good for the soil, too! Once my potatoes are up a couple inches, I put newspapers around them, then mulch over that--and geez--much nicer potatoes!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 26, 2013 9:17 PM CST
I dunno. When difficult weeds grow inside a lily clump, if I can't remove them right away, I usually leave them until fall. Then when I pull the stems and remove the stem bulblets, it's much easier to tackle the pesky weed.

Regarding Roundup, it's not that it's only absorbed through the leaves; it can be absorbed (probably) by any living surface. This does include bulbs and bulb scales, and likely roots, too, IF the chemical is not "absorbed" or tied up by something else first. In the case of anything in soil, the glyphosate in Roundup is bound to soil particles so tightly that it cannot be absorbed by living material. Wash a bulb clean and apply Roundup, and it will definitely absorb the chemical. Similarly, coat a living leaf with dust and apply Roundup, and it will absorb less of glyphosate because the dust will be tying up some of the chemical as it is applied. The concept also explains the reasoning for using clean water for application, as opposed to dirty water.

I've always wondered about what is in the bleaching products and ink used in newspaper. I know some use more "environmentally friendly" chemicals, whatever that means....
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
Lilies Peonies
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Ticker
Oct 26, 2013 10:17 PM CST
I would do the same as you, Leftwood, if I had some really nasty dandy in the middle of a nice clump of lilies. However, I deal with a ton of peony and I prefer not to move them if at all possible. This is where the paintbrush and Roundup come in.

Regarding newspaper ink. The newspaper I use is printed with Soy ink. I wouldn't use the colored sections on food crops though. But for perennials and such, they are fine. For my food crops I just went to the local big box hardware store and got builder's paper. This is not Rozen paper, but pretty much the same as a paper grocery bag. Places like Gardener's Supply is selling the same thing for a whole heck of a lot more. I get a large roll for about $10.00. It's 35" x 140'. Check and see the price difference with GS. It seems to work just fine for my tomatoes. :)
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Oct 27, 2013 6:46 AM CST
Diann: Based on your personal experience and discussion, I'm pretty much convinced Roundup can be used successfully when carefully applied. The fact that this information comes from you, carries a lot of weight with me. Thumbs up That, along with Rick's knowledge, gives me the confidence I needed. I guess I should give my daughter more credit than I have been when it comes to the use of Roundup. She apparently knows what she's doing.

Oh, on the subject of newspaper mulch--some readers may pick up on the idea. Use only the back and white sections to be safe around root crops.

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