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Pigweed - how to get rid of it

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  • Pigweed - how to get rid of it

    Just as the title says - pigweed in my horse's paddock. I hate it and I think it's irritating his legs. Anyway to get rid of this horrible stuff besides bombing his paddock with napalm?

  • #2
    Pigweed is a broadleaf weed so spraying with Banvel or Paraquat should take care of it.
    "Your best can be worn at any length"- Jason Mraz


    • #3
      Our local (Mississippi) ag newpaper has been running stories on how Palmer Pigweed (careless weed, prickly weed) has become Round Up resistant. A good many farmers around here are going back to the old cotton chopping gangs to get the ones that survive over the top spraying of Round Up ready crops.

      It's actually a form of amaranth and not poisonous at all. Horses have been known to eat it, and pigs love it. I suppose you could turn pigs loose in your pasture and they'd grub it out for you.

      Other than that, hand hoeing is just about the best you can do, if it's the resistant kind.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire


      • #4
        Take large plastic, contractor-grade trash bags. Put into wheelbarrow. Put on the heaviest gloves you can. Take a bucket of water (if your ground is hard and dry) or have a hose handy. Pull pigweeds out by the roots, and immediately put into trash bags. If you drag the fluffy bits around, they'll reseed faster than your horse's feet grow in the summer.

        I've tried RoundUp, and all its various incarnations on pigweed, and nothing works better ( and is less toxic) than pulling them up by hand and bagging them.
        In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
        A life lived by example, done too soon.


        • Original Poster

          I was afraid of that! Does this stuff die back in the winter?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
            I was afraid of that! Does this stuff die back in the winter?
            Yeah, if it freezes hard enough, long enough. If you don't get a real winter where everything dies back, it will probably just start a new crop as soon as the last season's weeds can sprout.

            Around here, after the killing frost, the horses go around and eat the dead stalks.

            I don't know for a fact, but from the growth patterns, I think it's an annual that has to do all its growing and going to seed in one growing season. But I suspect that the seeds can be dormant in the ground for decades.

            I'd just let it get a few inches high, then mow it off before it goes to seed. Every time you pull one up, you have disturbed the ground and left an opportunity for dozens more seeds to sprout. It doesn't get prickly and scratchy until it gets big enough for the hair to grow on the stems.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the information. My hate for pigweed runs a close second to fire ants.


              • #8
                Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                It's actually a form of amaranth and not poisonous at all. Horses have been known to eat it, and pigs love it. I suppose you could turn pigs loose in your pasture and they'd grub it out for you.
                I have a little bit in a sacrifice paddock. Figured I'd go out there and cut it out and then saw the pigs snacking on it. Guess that's why it's called pigweed.

                Where I live it tends to spring up in patches or areas with poor soil quality/bare/overgrazed.

                If it's a form of amaranth does the root grow as deep? One of my old gardening books says amaranth is great at bringing up nutrients deep within the soil.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling