over run with goat heads!!

cheri2008July 14, 2014

wanting to help daughter put in back yard.. home has been empty for some time, front yard was maintained and is healthy, but back is been taken over by goat heads, also known as puncture vine. so what should I do?, was thinking of using round up, to get rid of what is there, then possibly burn , and rake up all that I can.... but after do I till the ground, or am I asking for trouble, will this cause these devils to come back after disturbing them? our temps are in the 100 + so was thinking about just trying to clear off the weeds and try seeding when temps cool off.... any advice is welcome thanks in advance..

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Those are the worst of all the sticker seeds, IMO. Most will not puncture a bike tire but goat heads will every time.

Temps in the 100s? Where does she live?
What kind of lawn does she want to have?
Is she willing to water once a week?
Mow once or twice a week?

Most of these low growing sticker plants are opportunistic. They will grow when nothing else is growing. But once anything else is growing, these will not survive.

Here's one way to at least try to get rid of most of them. Spray with RoundUp to kill the existing plants. That should leave only a bazillion seeds. Then water the yard once a day for about 20 minutes (or 1/3 inch if you can measure that). The idea here is to sprout the goat head seeds that are on the soil. Water every day for a week and then spray RoundUp again. Let that dry and continue watering to sprout more goat heads. After another week, you should be able to just spot spray RoundUp on the very few weeds that have sprouted. This process will get rid of most of the goat head seeds and all the vegetation. Scrape up everything and compost it. Your soil should be ready for new seed or sod.

Really need to know where she lives and what kind of lawn she wants. Are kids a factor? Is there any shade on the yard?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Thank you SO much for imput.... to answer your questions. We live in Idaho.. Boise area. I believe we are zone 6 hot summers, yet cold winters.. I believe she will be putting in Kentucky Blue Grass as it tolerates our climate. she does have kids(teenagers). Irrigating is not a problem. and yes mowing once a week is routine. And fertize as needed..

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:23PM
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This is an off the wall comment, but is there any chance you get ahold of some puncturevine weevils? They reduce seed viability to practically zip, are prey specific (they only attack puncturevine), but don't kill the plants--which die at frost anyway even if you do nothing.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:43PM
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