Monday, May 9, 2016
A NEW Vegetative Villian
Since I do everything in my power to not spray herbicides around here I have had to deal with just about every out of control invasive weed known to man....
And they ain't all just introduced weeds either for you back to native types either. Big Blue stem ain't a walk in the park let me tell you.
I have dealt with Morning Glory, Broad Pig leaf, Johnson Grass, Canada Thistle, SourDock, Bitterweed you name it. Through various trials and error I have managed to control most of it. The Morning Glory will usually die out under a combined attack by mowing and sheep grazing. I have found chickens do a good job of forcing the Johnson Grass back, Bitterweed is actually not toxic to sheep and I got rid of most of the Thistle burr dock and cocklenurrs in the horse pasture by mowing the hell out of it last Summer.
Then this Spring a new menace popped up and I am NOT sure yet how to deal with it.
See all that yellow? Well the bees LOVE those yellow blooms and at first I kinda thought it was the Bitterweed blooming early where I had (mostly) eliminated the thistle and cockleburr infestation from last year. While I was out putting in fence posts though I noticed the bees were all over this stuff as I said and I had never noticed the honey bees hitting the Bitterweed before so it peaked my curiosity.
It ain't Bitterweed it's Butter Cup and it's everywhere out there. It must have found the perfect breeding ground after I got rid of the thistle and cockleburr and grown most all Winter since we had such a mild one. Since we have never had it before I wasn't paying any attention and now its going like gangbusters.
You can see in the small hayfield that borders the pasture with the Buttercup it has even spread into it a slight bit.
The problem with this Buttercup is unlike the Bitterweed this stuff is toxic to pretty much all livestock including the sheep and herbicides do nothing to it during the Spring and Summer months. You have to hit it with herbicides in the Fall or Winter. By the time it blooms the seed pod damage is already done so mowing won't help much either.
Looks like I have about a 2 acre infestation of the stuff that is going to require some attention and soon. It also means the East Pasture section I had planned on fencing off next is now out of the question. I am going to have to convert the small hay field into pasture now and then isolate the main Buttercup infestation but there is so much spread to other areas I may not be able to control it even then.
Just another wonderful side effect of over grazing by horses for years and years. Seems like whenever I get another weed infestation it always develops from their pasture.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!