Feb. 23, 2016
This is Jason Lamb with your Gardening Minute.
Lately, I have been getting several questions on controlling puncture vine, as so known as goat heads. “Goat heads” are a summer Annual broadleaf plant that puncture just about everything. They have five main spike or burrs that penetrate tires, passing livestock, shoes and seem difficult to get rid of.
Goat heads are a low growing plant that reproduces from seed with a deep main tap root and can with stand very dry, hot summer conditions. So what is a home owner to do about goat heads.
Persistence is the key, most goat heads can be controlled by using a flat nose shovel, scooping under the plant, cutting the tap root at the base and discarding the plant. This must be done in early spring before the flowers develop into goat heads.
Chemicals such as 2,4 D or glyphosate are very effective but must also be used prior to the plant flowering. You may need to spray more than once to get successful control and year after year because seed can remain viable for up to five years in the soil. These chemical can harm other plants and should be spot sprayed. Pre-emergent herbicides have marginally effect on puncture vine. Make sure to read and follow the label be using.
For more information about controlling goat heads please contact us at the Cooperative Extension Office at 461-0562. We will be hosting a Resilience in Agricultural meeting on March 9th at the Tucumcari Convention Center to discuss State Agricultural priorities. Contact our office if you would like to attend. This has been your Gardening Minute with Jason Lamb your Quay County Ag. Extension Agent. Where are programs are open to everyone.