The first-ever Grand Junction Weed Rodeo will be held 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 17-21 in partnership with the Mesa County Fair. The first 150 folks to bring in one garbage bag full of pulled weeds to our booth will get a free Mesa County Fair admission ticket, usable any time after bag drop-off and fully transferable.
These first 150 folks also win a free "Pulling for Colorado" insulated lunch cooler. (Limit one admission ticket and one cooler per person). Children as well as adults are encouraged to participate.
Come learn about weeds in Mesa County, win free prizes for playing games, and get a load of weeds off your hands. Participants can win gift cards to Dairy Queen, Regal Movie Theater, Bananas Fun Park, or Famous Dave's BBQ just for bringing in the most bags of weeds, playing the Weed ID game, and/or entering our free drawing.
For the Weed ID game, we'll teach you how to identify some of the most common weeds in the area; then all you have to do is memorize some of them and you can win. Bring in your "mystery plants" from your property and get them identified by our plant identification experts, or talk with our weed specialists to find out the best control strategies for those problem plants on your property. Pick up a free 2013 Colorado Weed Management Association calendar and a variety of other weed education materials.
Please bring in your weeds in durable plastic garbage bags. No bags of non-weed materials will be accepted. We will be tracking the different species of weeds that are brought in by attendees. This event is sponsored by Mesa County Fairgrounds, Pulling for Colorado, Tamarisk Coalition, Colorado State University Extension, Tri River Area Master Gardeners, and Mesa County Division of Pest and Weed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Have you been wondering what those pretty pink flowers are on your property that spread more and more each year and seem to be running over everything in their path? Did your child come home with an unexplainable rash last week? Are you trying to sell your house and can't figure out why prospective buyers don't seem as excited about your landscaping as you are?
If you don't know the plants growing in and around your property, it may be costing you more than you think. Noxious invasive plants can increase fire danger around your home, can be toxic to kids or pets, and can even reduce property values. Taking the time to learn about weeds invading your property and the best ways to manage them can make a big difference in protecting property and keeping your family members safe.
For example, the weed leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) produces skin blistering sap that can cause severe eye injury with significant contact, and Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens) is toxic to horses, causing nigropallidal encephalomalacia, a Parkinson's-like neurological disease. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is a noxious weed that has been used by some ranchers as early spring feed for cattle, but it dries out quickly in early summer and can carry fire quickly over large distances and threaten homes.
For these reasons and more, come visit us at the Grand Junction Weed Rodeo booth during Fair week and learn how to make your property safer and more profitable. This is a great chance to teach your kids about the importance of weeds; we look forward to seeing you there. Give the Master Gardeners a call at 970-244-1836 for more information.
Julie Knudson is a staff scientist with the Tamarisk Coalition. Susan Rose is the horticulture education specialist with Colorado State University Extension.