Weed Control

Here are some of the common weeds that we have to contend with on the farm. We prefer to use selective goat grazing to keep these under control, but some weeds need to be cut or pulled, and others unfortunately need to be poisoned if they are particularly invasive.

Most plants that are often considered as weeds make excellent goat grazing, as grass is actually the last think that a goat will eat, preferring trees and shrubs, as well as broad leaf ‘weeds’.

Weed control involves understanding the characteristics of the weed, and then formulating an approach to, if not eradicate it, bring it under control. Is it a perennial plant or annual? Does it produce seeds? If you break it off does it die or make more shoots? How long do the seeds last in the ground? A good starting point is to try and stop the plant reproducing. Once a plant has gone to seed, you have lost the battle for that season. Weeds often have few predators which is why they take over so readily, so anything you can do to impede their progress will help. Poisons I only use as a last resort, on very problematic plants, but I try to be as topical with the application of the poison as possible. Poisoning the stump of an invasive tree, only affects the stump where you paint it on, nothing else gets poisoned.

Steel in The Field‘ is a very good read on mechanical weed control.

Some of our weeds:

Pom Pom Weed

Invasive Trees (Blue Gum and Black Wattle)

Milk Weed

Slangbos Control Using Goats