Goats heads are annoying weeds with tiny seeds that seem to get everywhere. They stick to your shoes and dogs’ paws and are a severe problem for hikers, bikers, and pet owners. The seeds of this plant are so sharp that they can even puncture a car tire. Let’s look at how to get rid of goat heads in your yard.
What are goat heads?
Goat Head is an annual that germinates in the fall and generally overwinters. It grows throughout winter and early spring until it produces flowers and seeds, usually starting in March. The leaves are flat and about an inch long, with plants staying close to the ground unless they are growing in shaded areas. These plants produce yellow flowers in the spring.
The problem with goats heads are the seeds. They have two or three sharp spikes and spread by attaching themselves to clothing or animal fur. Goats heads are hard to eliminate as the seeds remain viable in the soil for up to 4 years. Even when you think you’ve got rid of goats heads, it could regrow again. Goats head weeds are considered an invasive weed in some areas.
How to get rid of Goat Heads?
Getting rid of goats’ heads is challenging as they will regrow if any seeds are left in the soil. There are several methods that you can try to eliminate goats heads from your yard. Here are some tips to help you effectively get rid of goats heads.
Dig up the weed
To dig up goats heads, you’ll need a trowel, garden gloves, and a garbage bag. Carefully dig the plant up, being careful to pull up all the roots. If there are seeds on the plant, don’t drop them onto the ground, or they will regrow. Carefully dispose of the plant in the trash. Don’t compost goats head, or you’ll just be spreading the seeds over your garden in the future.
After digging up goats’ heads, it’s also a good idea to regularly check the area to ensure the weed hasn’t regrown. Goats heads can regrow from roots or seeds in the same place.
Unfortunately, there are no herbicides that will eradicate Goat Heads entirely. You can use a herbicide such as 24D to kill off existing plants, but there’s likely to still be seeds in the ground that will grow again the following season. You can also use a pre-emergent herbicide that’s been designed for goats heads to stop the seeds from germinating.
Amend the soil
After digging up or killing goats heads with herbicides, it’s a good idea to amend the soil. If you add organic matter to your existing soil and till at least 6 inches deep, there is a chance you can kill enough seeds to reduce germination.
You can also try using a solarizing technique to kill off the seedlings. Simply cut back your vegetation, remove it from your yard, and lay down some heavy plastic sheeting on the soil for several weeks during summer. The sun will cook any seeds or roots underneath it. You will probably need four layers of clear plastic to effectively do this.
Be sure to anchor the plastic so it doesn’t blow around and leave gaps where seeds can get through. Just turning your soil isn’t enough, you need to kill the seeds as well.
Goat head weed are no fun to have around. They are challenging to get rid of, so prevention is the key to keeping these plants away from your yard. Keep pets’ paws clean after outdoor activity and try not to walk in areas where there are goats heads growing.
If you live in one of the areas affected by goat heads, you may need to get friends and neighbours to eliminate the weeds from their yards. This will reduce the likelihood of seeds spreading.
How to Get Rid of Goat Heads: Conclusion
Goats heads are difficult to eradicate fully. The best way to deal with them is to remove the plants, amend the soil and solarize the area, so new seeds don’t grow back. You can try using herbicides or pre-emergent sprays, but they won’t get rid of all the seeds for good. Remember that goat heads seeds can stay in the soil for up to 4 years, so you’ll need to regularly monitor your yard for regrowth. The best way to get rid of them is by using several different methods, combining hand removal with chemical treatments or solarization.