Weeds, Weeding and Grazing Management

By the time I got back to Missouri, I arrived at night. Not only were the stars lovely, showing the Milky Way above our heads, but the weeds in the front yard were a jungle of knee high foilage. We got some serious weeding done the next day.

The tall weed I didn’t get a close photo of but the horses were refusing to eat it and I figured it needed to go due to this fact alone. The Extension agent said it was some sort of perennial and suggested I use Weedmaster which is a combination of 24D with Banfield in the spring.

This yellow flowering weed seen below is Bitter Sneezeweed (Helenium amarum).  Horses avoid eating it.  The weed stem and leaves give off a greasy, sticky residue and has a pungent smell I find unpleasant. It generally grows up one stalk, which eventually branch off, with hair like, green fronds and a yellow pinwheel flower. 

If you see a lot of these in the pasture (and you are in my area of the world) it typically means the pasture is overgrazed and not managed.

There are several ways to remove these weeds…

1.) By pulling them out. They have a shallow root system and if you have a small lot, do it right after a rain. It’s best to grab them before they flower. Be sure that you dispose of the plant somewhere other then the pasture or a compost pile.

2.) Constant mowing them down, before they flower. Eventually the plant will give up… eventually could be a long, long time.

3.) Seed grass and water like heck so it overtakes the weed before the weed has time to get going. Effectively the grass chokes out the weed. This only works if you don’t have horses eating your grass!

4.) Use a herbicide. The Extension Office can give you a recommendation for a specific herbicide that kills this type of weed. For our area, the Oklahoma agent recommended spraying in May with 24D with 2/3 oz. per 1 gallon. A big issue with spraying this property is that this area sits right next to the house and we use well water. I’d rather just pull weeds.

Unfortunately, the field has other weeds that need to be removed ASAP, including Pokeweed. So I’ll be continuing the weeding over the next few weeks.

Recommendations for planting grass this fall was Ryegrass in the last week in August or the first week in September: 20-25# per acre. That was from the Oklahoma Extension Agent so I’ll confirm with the Missouri Agent before proceeding.

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2 Responses to Weeds, Weeding and Grazing Management

  1. AnneG says:

    Hi, the tall weed in the first photo looks like a variety of tarweed (amsinckia) to me, but I’d need a closer look to tell for sure. If it is a tarweed, it contains a pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxic to the liver and it’s a good thing your horses won’t eat it. My horse will, unfortunately, and I can tell by the sticky black substance on his face and forelock. Frequent mowing or hand pulling to get as much root out as possible can get rid of it if you have a small area to manage.

    • horseideology says:

      Thank Anne! I had planned on grabbing a better photo of it next week and maybe taking a couple of plants down to the Exension agent for confirmation.

      So far no one has shown any interest in it but with horses you never know! Especially as they are on a drylot at this time and this is their special grazing time area under our watchful eye.

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