Ragwort - spray or top, WWYD?

pennyturner

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As above really. Paddock has lots of seedlings coming up this year. I could spray now or wait until they bolt and top them. WWWYD?
 

popsdosh

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Its to cold to spray them at the moment. they need to be actively growing! they do take a long time to succumb. What have you used out of interest as some are better than others.
 

popsdosh

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As above really. Paddock has lots of seedlings coming up this year. I could spray now or wait until they bolt and top them. WWWYD?
Spray every time all topping will do is leave plant for next year as they are are mostly biennial. Take note of above comment though!
 
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Only way I know to get rid of them is to pull them up by the roots...... making sure you wear the appropriate PPE of course.

I'd be wary of topping them, simply because you then get the trimmings from them which because they'd dry out, would be easily consumed by horses or livestock.

Don't know about spraying, never done it, you'd need to research weedkillers and/or consult a professional (and watch while they mix up the stuff to make sure you get the proper amounts in coz we were conned that way once - contractor didn't put enough of the chemicals, which we'd paid for, into the machine :( )
 
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I think the only way to get rid is to dig them up and burn them.Wear thick gloves and don't drop them.I put them in sacks and burn them.Dont put them on the muck heap as they will grow again.
 

DuckToller

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The trouble with digging the damn things up is that it's labour intensive and kills my back and you have to get every last bit of root or it just comes back.

I have on many rag-worting sessions found several small ragwort plants growing in a circle or semi circle - now I can't imagine that the seeds blew in and just nicely arranged themselves in a circle and started growing, I think it is more likely it is where I pulled a big plant, and left tiny bits of root and they have then grown as 3 or 4 little plants - so by digging them out I have increased their numbers!

I now spray using Barrier H - expensive but it works, and you can see the leaves turning brown quite soon after spraying (and if you are doing a large area and not sure whether you have done a particular plant or not, you can smell the lemony aroma!

Pennyturner - you don't say if you are grazing the paddock or resting it after treatment?
 

JanetGeorge

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I spray with Grazon - as soon as they start to grow - and with a knapsack sprayer so they can be WELL soaked! And leave until they have withered away to nothing I always mark some plants I have sprayed with a fencing stake or two next to them - so I can check that they are gone. Shrivelled ragwort is still poisonous - and more likely to be eaten. It can take up to 6 weeks depending on the weather - hot and dry is best!
 

Limbo1

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I only have a few plants visable so went round with double strength roundup, I was doing the veg patch at the time.
 

popsdosh

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I only have a few plants visable so went round with double strength roundup, I was doing the veg patch at the time.
Make the most of it very soon roundup wont be available to you. Another thing to thank europe for. Not really the best product to use on ragwort depending on how you applied it. wiping on ok spraying no!!
 

Limbo1

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Why no good? Is it to do with the way it absorbs? Of course the plants are coming up in the starvation paddock! Making them more likely to be eaten by `starved' pony grerrrr
 

popsdosh

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Why no good? Is it to do with the way it absorbs? Of course the plants are coming up in the starvation paddock! Making them more likely to be eaten by `starved' pony grerrrr
If you spray it on you will kill grass as well and there is nothing ragwort likes more than bare patches.
 

Sukistokes2

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I pull, as I think it is the best way to get rid of it. I alway wait until the ground is soft and then go for it. My Dad follows me and dribbles some weed killer done the hole. You will never get rid of it totally, seeds always blow in but I have seen a vast improvement over the years. It now takes a very short time to deal with.
 

LD&S

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As already mentioned it's a bit cold for spraying ragwort.

We had so much we were filling the huge builders bags with it, in the end we ran out of bags and put a plastic sheet on the ground and chucked all the dug up plants on it, the pile was over half a metre high and over a metre square, this was over 5 years ago and not a singe ragwort plant has grown there though hundreds grew everywhere else, we did some further reading and as little as 1/2 inch of root is enough for a new plant to form.

We have used Depitox for several years now and found it works really well though we do keep the horses off for quite a while, usually 6 weeks. 2-3 weeks after spraying we cut it and dispose of the cuttings well away from the horses by the time the 6 weeks are up the rest of the dead weeds have rotted down and the grass has pretty much grown over the gaps left by the dead weeds.
 

gnubee

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I had loads of tiny ones last year. Started digging out with the rag fork in spring but by midsummer there was more ragwort than grass. I think it can be a it like the sorcerers apprentice where you dig out one big one and eight bits of root spawn 8 new ones. So we sprayed in summer, then as we needed the field again before I was confident they would be rotted away (anything from 6 weeks to 8 months from what I read) I left it 3 weeks to give the poison time to kil the roots then 4 of us went up and dug up every bit of ragwort we could see. I suspect we may need to repeat again this year as it can lay dormant for quite a long time but with the volumes I had I don't think there was any point in trying to do it without poison.
 

pennyturner

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The land was left abandoned for 20+ years, so when I took it on, the Ragwort was standing like a crop. I have had a contractor in using 2-4-D a few times over the years. What's coming up now is dormant seeds in the soil. Small, and far too numerous to pull.

When I say now, I mean as soon as they start growing, vs topping in July when the plants have put all their strength into the flowers. Either way, there'll be no livestock on there until next new year, so I have the luxury of not having to remove trimmings or dead plants.

Has anyone successfully got rid by topping alone? - my thinking is that you don't get ragwort in a lawn... mowing must work eventually.
 
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You cannot get rid of ragwort by topping a field! That's akin to shaving your legs.
If it's really bad then spray it - spot spray by hand. When it is well and truly dead, I would dig it up and burn it.
Ultimately, the best way to get rid of ragwort is to dick it up. Every last bit of it. And yes it's awful but if you truly want ragwort free land this is what you have to do AND MAKE SURE YOUR NEIGHBOURS KEEP THEIR LAND RAGWORT FREE TOO.
It's lazy land custodians who let ragwort flourish that make it impossible for the ret of us to keep our land clean.
Ragword is a pest that every one who owns land has a duty to keep clean.
It's like herd immunity with human vaccinations.
 

PerfectCoffee

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When I bought a field with an existing ragwort problem I sprayed with roundup using their pump sprayer pack. The spray is quite direct rather than a wide spray so was quite easy to avoid getting much on the grass. That got rid of most of it and any that remained I just pulled when the soil was wet.
 

popsdosh

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The land was left abandoned for 20+ years, so when I took it on, the Ragwort was standing like a crop. I have had a contractor in using 2-4-D a few times over the years. What's coming up now is dormant seeds in the soil. Small, and far too numerous to pull.

When I say now, I mean as soon as they start growing, vs topping in July when the plants have put all their strength into the flowers. Either way, there'll be no livestock on there until next new year, so I have the luxury of not having to remove trimmings or dead plants.

Has anyone successfully got rid by topping alone? - my thinking is that you don't get ragwort in a lawn... mowing must work eventually.
You simply cannot kill it by topping.Ragwort will not establish in a thick sward hence why you dont see it on lawns. The reason I think your plan is flawed is that any seedlings coming now will not flower this year but next so topping will only make the plants stronger .
Spray as soon as its warmer top field in summer to encourage grass to tiller out and spray again in the autumn to catch anything that comes later and dare I say fertilise the grass to encourage it to thicken up
Poor grassland management is the number one cause of ragwort and as long as you maintain a dense sward it will not germinate or if it does it hates competition so will die. We have 300 acres of grass the only time we see ragwort is where the horses overgraze bits and leave it open .
 
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Makemineacob

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I use a Fiskars weed puller - saves my back! Do it when the ground is soft.

http://www.crocus.co.uk/product/_/f....2000016928/?gclid=CPuplajTr8wCFa8W0wodr70D6A

^^^ this, you won't believe how addictive this tool is as it's super easy and gets the whole thing out in one go. Very easy to use and no bending, digging and straining your back. Hubby loves using it (a man thing I think) as it has a "pump action" to "fire" the weed into barrow etc. We started off with quite a problem but now get just a couple of bits. I don't wait, as soon as I see them even if small I get them out.
 

pennyturner

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You simply cannot kill it by topping.Ragwort will not establish in a thick sward hence why you dont see it on lawns. The reason I think your plan is flawed is that any seedlings coming now will not flower this year but next so topping will only make the plants stronger .
Spray as soon as its warmer top field in summer to encourage grass to tiller out and spray again in the autumn to catch anything that comes later and dare I say fertilise the grass to encourage it to thicken up
Poor grassland management is the number one cause of ragwort and as long as you maintain a dense sward it will not germinate or if it does it hates competition so will die. We have 300 acres of grass the only time we see ragwort is where the horses overgraze bits and leave it open .
Thanks Popsdosh. That makes sense. We've sprayed a number of times, and it does get rid of the ragwort, enough for us to deal with any stragglers by pulling for a few years afterwards... it's annoying that there are enough seeds in the soil still to make it necessary to repeat from time to time.

I harrowing the poo after the ponies have moved on, so shouldn't need artificial fertilizer.
 

JillA

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Spray it with a selective herbicide such as MCPA - but you will need to either remove the dead plants by hand or not graze it until they have completely rotted away. Best to spray at double rosette stage (two lots of leaves at ground level), which will be shortly, as it is a herbicide that acts by being absorbed by the leaves, if there is enough leaf you will probably be okay now.
 
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