Q. My red onions are going to seed. Will the bulb keep growing?
A. When onions go to seed or bolt, the resources from the bulb are redirected toward the flowers and developing seed. Essentially, the bulb will not grow but will begin to shrink on the inside and will not store well.
Q. What precautions should I take for my livestock in drought conditions?
A. Whether you are considering a major livestock species such as cattle, horses, sheep, goats or even pets, always focus on their basic needs. Make sure the animals have a continuous supply of clean water (required for basic life functions to occur). Although feed intake by the animals may be less when it is hot and dry, adequate feed is essential from a nutritional standpoint and helping the animal be healthy and resistant to disease.
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You may have to provide pasture animals with supplemental feed and minerals, and keep your livestock away from toxic plants that they might eat when feed is scarce. Drought conditions can also stress pasture and forage plants, which can lead to the potential for toxicity. For example, nitrate or prussic acid poisonings of livestock sometimes coincide with drought conditions.
Q. I have a weedy grass coming up in my lawn. I thought it was crabgrass, but I know crabgrass can be confused with Bermuda grass. The Washington State University Extension Master Gardener clinic confirmed it is crabgrass. Is there anything I can do now to kill it?
A. No doubt other home owners are seeing crabgrass showing up in their lawns too. Crabgrass is a warm-season grass that loves the heat, and recent warm weather has encouraged its growth. There are two chemicals (MSMA, dithiopyr) labeled as crabgrass killers that are effective in lawns when crabgrass plants are young and small.
Crabgrass control products containing quinlorac can provide fairly good control of crabgrass at any stage of growth. You will find quinlorac available in all-in-one products for lawn weed control because it also enhances the effectiveness of broadleaf weed herbicides when combined in a mix. If you don't have many patches of crabgrass, consider simply spot treating the patches or digging them out by hand. Next year, be sure to apply a crabgrass "preventer" or pre-emergent herbicide in early spring.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.