Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Goat Head Weed Control

One of the harmful weeds that many gardeners deal with is the dreaded goatee weed. This weed forms a dense mat, which almost exceeds any planting area and causes many problems. Especially in the garden bed where you plant floor coverings, pay attention to this plant. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

The first recorded goat head weed occurred in California in 1902. For decades, horticulturists have noticed that toxic weeds have formed monoculture, surpassing native plants. This led to the plant being classified as an invasive species.

With this in mind, it is each of us who grows up to identify and remove the dreaded goatee weed. Among native habitat conservationists, farmers and ranchers, we can reduce the chance of such weeds invading our gardens, barefoot and livestock feet.

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So, what is a goatee weed, and how do you get rid of it? Read on and find out!

What is Aegilops?

Aegilops (Tribulus terrestris) is a harmful weed in the Kartrop family. Goat's head, cat's head, devil's thorn, thorn vine, devil's eyelash, caltrop weed and nail grass are the most common names of thorn thistles. It grows in sandy and rocky sites with well drained soil. It is one of the most widely distributed weeds of its kind. Like other members of the ground ant family, it prefers to be in sunny and dry areas. Garbage dump, pasture, railway track and pasture are all suitable for these plants. So is your backyard garden or yard.

It is characterized by that Aegilops tauschii is a fast-growing annual broad-leaved plant with deep taproot and small roots from the center. The stem radiates with twisted movement to form a dense mat, which can take away anything that hinders it. In areas full of leaves, stems can grow upright. Each leaf is subdivided into 4 to 8 pairs of smaller leaflets. From spring to autumn, bright yellow flowers bloom in the morning. Each flower has five petals, which appear from the leaf axis. After the flowers bloom and die, a seed pod is formed, which is composed of five prickly burrs called goat's head. The head has many puncture points, piercing countless people, animals and things. The factory comes from southern Europe and has fled to many different parts of the world.

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Identify goat head weeds

In the grassy yards of the Rocky Mountain states and Bermuda, Goat Head has found a way to thrive. When it is young, it may be difficult to recognize it without its flowers. Since the goat head plant has many growth stages in its life cycle, we will discuss how to identify it in each stage.

Seedling stage

Tribulus terrestris can be similar to other plants in its youngest growth period. Plants like purslane and speckled thorns are sometimes confused with catheads, although their ecological damage is not high. Look for a green leaf with a gray background, its tip slightly indented. Each leaf should have a prominent midvein, no larger than 3/5 inch. Stems radiate from the central taproot in a rotating manner. The width of the whole plant should not exceed a few inches.

Mature plant stage

Most of the time, you will find that Tribulus terrestris grows on the prone, but it will stand upright in the dense leaves. Look for their characteristic leaves, but note that they may no longer be green at maturity. In contrast, the leaves of these plants can be red to brown. At this stage, they are also covered with fur. Look for small leaves arranged in about seven pairs. Stems occasionally branch to 1m wide on both sides of the underground taproot.

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Flowering stage

From spring to autumn, bright yellow flowers of thistles bloom. In California, this plant usually blooms from March to October. In Arizona, it's July to September. When plants usually bloom, it is largely determined by regional climate and geology. Each flower has 5 petals, about the same width as the leaves. If you want to know whether the plant you selected is a terrible goatee weed, please check whether it blooms in the morning. This is the time for flowers to bloom.

Reproductive stage

The plants of Tribulus terrestris blossom and die. The plants form devil's thorns or prickly fruits, with several prickly spots similar to goat's head. When the seed pods fall, they will be embedded in nearby plant debris, barefoot and fur. They can also get stuck in their feet, pierce the bottom of their shoes, or even pierce bicycle tires. This is why they are so easy to spread. They eliminate the ability of other plants (especially native plants) to occupy a place in the niche. Another way in which goat head weeds are so successful is related to the ability of seed pods to remain dormant for up to 5 years. This is the main reason why it is widely found around the world. The seed production stage of growth is the place where devil's paws breed.

Danger to pets and livestock

Now we have discussed the life cycle of this poisonous weed. What is worth discussing is the importance of removing it and its relationship with pets and livestock. Although burr itself is harmful and embedded in claws, skin and hooves, leaves are also a trouble. If livestock are eaten, they will poison them. Sheep, in particular, can be poisoned by plants. In addition, if the burr is embedded in the soft tissue, it is easy to cause infection. This could mean a lengthy extraction process or a heavy veterinary bill. It is also important for those involved in animal husbandry to remove all sharp thorns from the skin it embeds, as the remaining fragments can also cause infection. This also applies to removing thorns from the skin.

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Therefore, this plant is not only bad for humans, their clothes and bicycle tires, but also causes serious damage to other creatures. This is why it is important to effectively control these plants.

How to get rid of goat head weeds

Before we discuss the method of controlling goat head weeds, we should say that the treatment involving catharsis salt or even iron salt is not an effective herbicide. This is because they accidentally killed the leaves, leaving deep roots, which continue to produce leaves in the mature growth stage. We will reiterate this in the herbicides section because it is worth repeating.

Whether you decide to use natural or mechanical removal methods or turn to chemical treatment, you know what you are doing well. You will avoid puncturing the seed heads of bicycle tires and resorting to antibiotic cream when they are embedded in your hands and feet. You don't want to walk on the rails. It's easy to find them in other places.

Chemical free

What is the most effective way to control goat head weeds? Kill them, kill them with fire! Use a blowtorch to do this. When the plants are new in spring, or when all parts of the plants are present in summer, please fire. Just burn the plants at the top of the root mass until they are fully charred. This prevents the leaves from returning and effectively kills the plant. One thing to consider when using fire as a herbicide is to consult local laws before attempting this method. If you are like me and there is actually a burning ban in your area, the propane torch weeder may cause more harm than benefit. Place water pipes nearby in case, and water them in advance to prevent the spread of fire. This method must be avoided on dry and windy days.

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An interesting and effective mechanical method involves dragging old carpets to the back of the vehicle. This is very useful for people living on vast land or even several acres of land. When the carpet is dragged, it picks up any burrs left on the ground. Repeat the process as needed. Note that you need to use this method in combination with other methods, because it will not get rid of the currently growing plants, but just seed pods. But in the process, you will save bicycle tires or your feet.

Another method that is very effective but requires a lot of effort is to manually pull the plant from the ground and excavate the entire wooden taproot. Slowly pull the plant to the side, not up, because this will certainly destroy the taproot. Cutting off the main root will delay the growth of the leaves to another time, providing only temporary repair. Use your hands or through a weeder or puller to save some energy. The area is then raked to remove any remaining seed pods. Use this control method at any time other than winter, when the leaves have disappeared but the taproot still exists.

Weed control of organic goats

Another way to get rid of the devil's claws in the yard, garden or pasture is to release the grape stinging weevil. This method is most suitable for people who own large amounts of land. If you are only dealing with some plants, it is best to pull them. The weevil feeds on stems or seeds, depending on the species. The larvae of the toad larvae feed on seeds, while the young salamanders feed on stems at the adult stage. You need both to get rid of goat head weeds effectively. Please consult your local agricultural extension office to see if it is possible to cooperate with the weevil. One disadvantage of collectively releasing them is that they are not local insects. They do not want to eliminate their habitats, so they will not completely remove the plants you want them to grow. They are most effective at the seeding stage.

As we mentioned earlier, organic herbicides based on iron salts will kill the leaves of goat heads, but not the taproots. We do not recommend these as effective controls. Instead, use a white vinegar spray with an acidity of at least 5% on new plants that have not yet been sown. Then place a tarp on the area where you have removed them to kill the taproot. Gardening vinegar works similarly, but is much stronger at 15% acidity. If you decide to use it as a control, wear protective equipment. Ventilation masks and goggles are helpful. Don't apply it on windy days. Gardening vinegar does not play! You really don't want any of these things in your skin or eyes. Avoid spraying vinegar on nearby plants. If they are exposed, they will die. Use this control when the plants are fully mature in summer. Rake away any remaining seed pods.

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Chemical herbicide

Two types of chemical control suitable for weed removal from goat head are glyphosate and missarin. Both types of chemical herbicides are broad-spectrum sprays, which means they will kill any plants they come in contact with. This is why it is absolutely necessary to care for the chemical control of goat head in application. Reazoline should be applied at the end of winter and early spring. After spraying the area, cover it with waterproof cloth to prevent evaporation in the sun and protect yourself and your family from chemicals. The same is true for glyphosate, except that this chemical herbicide should be used from the end of spring to the autumn when the goat's head is fully grown. Do not use this strong chemical spray on windy days, because it will kill nearby plants. Before using these controls, be sure to consult their security labels. Remember to allow enough time between spraying and planting new plants. You don't want to go through the whole planting process, but you find that the new factory is dead due to exposure to chemicals.

common problem

Q: What herbicide killed goat's head?

A: Chemical substances such as glyphosate and missarin, as well as strong white vinegar and horticultural vinegar are effective. Before using these controls, consult their security labels.

Q: What is a goatskin?

Answer: This is a seed pod with a special barb that can be embedded in anything around.

Q: How do you get rid of the goat's head forever?

A: There are several different ways to do this, including manual and chemical methods. Check the control section above.

Q: Do goats eat goatscotch?

A: Yes. Livestock are attracted by this plant. However, goats are less susceptible to poisoning than their relatives sheep.