The County Cubicle: Weed ’em and reap the benefits

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Editor’s note: In an effort to keep residents informed on happenings within county government, county employees will contribute biweekly articles for “The County Cubicle.”
These articles may include responses to reader questions or expression of interest. Readers are encouraged to submit questions or suggestions to County Administrator Pat Hooker at 878-9436 or

The County Weed Department can help you with your weed problems. Bring in your bag of weeds.
Holly Postmus, the county’s weed control supervisor, can help you identify your weeds and recommend management options. Her primary duty is to monitor noxious weed control efforts as required by state law. She also will provide technical information to help all residents of Rio Blanco County battle their invasive problems. A common definition of weed is “any plant out of place.”
Misuse of herbicides is a common mistake. Every spring landowners experience toasted turf, sick trees or wiped out shrub beds caused by the improper application of weed control products. Avoid expensive landscape mistakes by identifying your weeds and utilizing proper management techniques.
Most common weeds can be controlled by using a 2,4-D-based herbicide like Weed B Gone. Glyphosate products, like Round Up, are used to kill all vegetation (grass, weed, trees and shrubs) in areas like driveway cracks. Each product contains a label that describes where the product can be used (ornamental and turf, range, aquatic …), the rate of application and target species controlled. The label also describes storage restrictions, weather limitations, clean-up and disposal directions and special precautions for use around trees and water. To avoid costly mistakes, read the label.
Once a weed is eliminated, the job may not be done. Weeds are attracted to bare or disturbed areas. Seeding with competitive vegetation will decrease the likelihood of infestation. Bare spots in lawns can be reseeded and watered to provide competition to keep weeds out. Weed barrier fabric can be used in shrub beds to keep weeds from establishing. A pre-emergent can keep the bed weed free for an entire growing season.
Common weeds found in residential areas include: Prostate knotweed, Henbit, Redstem filaree, Blue mustard, Dandelion, Bur buttercup and Lambsquarter. Some of these weeds are edible or have medicinal properties. Many unexpected problems have arisen from planting exotics from other geographic regions. Oxeye daisy, Yellow toadflax, Purple loosestrife and Dame’s rocket are non-native noxious weeds that have caused significant economic or environmental damage with their introduction.
Billions of dollars are spent every year on control of exotics. Be aware that your neighbor may be spending time and money to control the exotics you are cultivating. Noxious weeds require management. Nuisance weeds, such as dandelions, can be competitive and invasive but may also have positive attributes. One man’s weed … is another man’s vintage wine.
The Weed Department is located at 570 Second St. in the Road and Bridge Building in Meeker. Office hours are generally from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Herbicides are available for purchase on Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to noon through the growing season.