But it was Johnson Grass
This summer we had an unexpected visitor in many of the garden raised beds. I was first excited thinking it was just renegade corn. Maybe, a bird dropped some seed. Maybe a four legged creature dropped it off. But it did look different. So, I decided to let it grow and see what it turned out to be.
The green plant grew longer and longer but it did not act like corn stalks even though it grew like corn. Gardner’s started to complain at least hinted they would like to vacate this green monster.
My wife Pat and the garden worker Brysedi grabbed a shovel and started to dig and dig. The more they dug more roots were found. This was defiantly no corn. This was Johnson grass. What is Johnson grass?
It is a warm season grass originated in the Mediterranean region. It was introduced to North America by Colonel William Johnson in the 1840’s. According, to an article from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service written December 2019, “Johnson seedling can resemble a corn or sorghum seedling: its stems and leaves are narrower and completely hairless. Johnson leaves have a very distinct and promenade vain. It can grow as high as 7 feet tall. The roots and rhizomes travel underground. If pulled and a root remains the plant will return.”
There are several ways to control this invasive grass. Some say use Round up but you know me that is not the way I recommend. However, it can be last resort. The best way, is get it out of the ground as soon as you see its head rise up. Make sure you get the roots, all of the roots. Do not let it take over. If it is really bad spray with 40 percent vinegar solution and cover the plot for at least 9 months. Don’t let this visitor fool you it is not welcome to the garden. It needs to go as soon as it arrives.
This is not corn.