Goat heads, also known as the devils weed are an invasive type of weed which is very hard to kill. If you are looking for ways to get rid of goat heads without killing your grass then you have come to the right place.
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How to get rid of goat heads without killing grass
Apply selective weed killer
NB: selective weed killers are highly poisonous so make sure you wear gloves before touching any of it.
When using a selective weed killer to get rid of goat heads, make sure that you spray it on all the targeted areas. This will help to ensure that it works faster. Furthermore, avoid spraying the selective weed killer on plants as it has the potential of affecting their growth. The selective weed killer can take between 1 to 2 weeks to start working so you need to be very patient.
Apply Vinegar and dish soap
NB: the ideal vinegar to be used is the horticulture vinegar which must be mixed with dish soap.
This is a home remedy technique which can be used for killing goat heads. It is important to know that the results are not instant therefore you need to be patient. This DIY method of getting rid of goat heads is also not very effective since it only kills the mature plants and not the seeds, meaning there is a higher chance that the goat heads will grow back. Therefore, you might have to end up opting for other alternatives like using the selective weed killer.
Methods of getting rid of goat heads which kill the grass
Using a flame weeder
NB: Always wear protective clothing before using a flame weeder. Furthermore, always contact your local fire department to see whether you need a permit to use a flame weeder or else you could get into trouble.
This is the best method for killing goat heads and you are guaranteed that you will go for a long while without seeing a goat head on your yard. The flame weeder is powered by propane and it burns at an average of 200F, making it effective for killing both the seeds and mature goat heads. This method of dealing with goat heads has been available for centuries and farmers who have been using this method claim that it is actually an eco-friendly method of dealing with goat heads. If you are planning on getting rid of goat heads on a large area, it is best that you use a hand held flame thrower that is way easier to carry and store.
In as much as using a flame weeder is ideal for getting rid of goat heads, it is important to know that plants actually grow faster on soils that have had flame weeding done on them. This shows that flame weeding can actually be beneficial to the soil.
Using weeder killer sprays
NB: always wear protective clothing when using these chemicals as they are highly toxic.
When using weed killer sprays to get rid of goat heads, there is actually a good chance that the grass will also be affected. Weed killer sprays come in different forms, there are those ones known as post emergence herbicides and there are residual weed killers. Post emergence herbicides kill goat herds before they mature however, they are not able to kill the seeds. This then makes post emergence herbicides less effective. Residual herbicides on the other hand kill the seeds as well as mature plants. Therefore, if you use this weed killer spray, you are surely guaranteed that you won’t face any challenges with goat heads on your yard. However, it is important to know that results are not instantly noticed when using weed killer sprays. Therefore you need to be extremely patient. Some weed killer sprays can take up to 1 month for them to kill the goat heads entirely.
Removing dead weeds and replacing them with something else
If you had previously used a weed killer spray or a flame weeder you need to remove the dead goat heads and replace them with other plants. This helps to ensure that you get rid of any seeds that might not have died in the process. When disposing the goat heads make sure you place them in waste bags and throw them somewhere else were they will not thrive and regrow. The next thing is to prepare your soil and plant grass or any plants. This is because goat heads do not grow where there is competition from other plants. So if you place multiple plants on that section, there is a good chance you will never see goat heads. Furthermore, you can grow St Augustine’s grass on your yard. This is because it has the potential of choking goat heads when they try to regrow.
Till your yard and add mulch
Till your land up to 6 inches deep, this will help to ensure that goat heads do not survive. Studies show that goat heads require 1-2 inches of soil to sprout. So if you till your soil to about 6 inches you can actually burry the seeds in the soil which will in turn make it harder for the seeds to germinate. You can then add mulch to the soil which helps to attract insects like crickets which can actually feed on the goat heads if they do appear again. So this method can get rid of goat heads permanently although it would means sacrificing your grass for a little while. Furthermore, this method is labour intensive, therefore it is advisable to only use it on your yard and not on commercial property.
Getting rid of goat heads without killing grass is an easy task especially when you use selective weed killers. However, it is important to know that the goat heads might still appear in the future which is why many people resort to using flame weeding or even tilling the soil. Although these methods are a bit labour intensive and kill the grass, they are actually effective methods of killing goat heads forever.