desert_baby(z9 AZ)June 1, 2006

My husband and I recently bought a house in a relatively undeveloped area of Queen Creek. When the weather started to warm up, we realized that we are absolutly and completly plagued by tumbleweeds. They blow over from the empty lots and have taken a firm grasp in my yard. Does anyone have an effective method of getting rid of the tumbleweeds that have already taken hold (we are having a nearly impossible time just pulling them because of the break-away stalk design) and for keeping new ones from sprouting? I've tried Round-Up, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. We currently don't have any landscaping aside from a few trees, so I don't have to worry about saving grass or other small plants, but I do plan on planting in the yard come cooler weather so I don't want to competly contaminate the soil.

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Just keep slicing them out with a shovel, below the base.

They can be composted :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 8:18PM
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To prevent tumbleweed seeds from sprouting in the future you can use a pre-emergent. Sprayed on the ground it keeps seeds from growing and lasts about 8 months. Usually its applied twice a year - in March for summer weeds and in September for winter weeds.

It is always easier to kill young weeds with a contact herbicide like RoundUp rather than the older tough weeds. Just be sure not to use a total vegetation killer (like Triox) as these can actually be soil sterilants and nothing will grow (even the things you want to) for several years. Be persistent .... you'll succeed.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:33AM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)

If you're talking about Russian thistle beware - these things are FULL of oil and burn like a gasoline-soaked torch when they dry up in the fall. They can represent a real fire hazard. Not something you want around your house.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 6:30PM
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My hula hoe is my best friend.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 5:45PM
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desert_baby(z9 AZ)

How does the hula hoe hold up in rocky soil?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 12:20PM
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DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

Just like you might figure: not well. You'll be harvesting rocks for a good long while. I find a heavy hoe, the kind where the handle fits into a hole in the blade, works well, here in big rock country. (We have a pile of rocks about 10 feet high from the septic tank/drain field diggings.)
Try not to use the deadly poisons until the last resort.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2006 at 4:06PM
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kathleen10(z9b AZ)

I know this isn't a solution but I just had to share.

Recently my mom gave me a lot of our family photo albums and I was just looking through some today. Back in the 80s, I think, she and my dad went to some area down in the SE valley or S of the valley to see.....

a tumbleweed Christmas Tree!

Really, someone piled them into a conical shape, sprayed them white and put lights on them. It's likely this was a "small town" tradition that is no longer being observed but I think it happened for several years.

So there you go, some tumbleweed trivia....

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 3:21AM
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kathleen10(z9b AZ)

Well, I guess this is my tumbleweed weekend, more trivia....

This morning with my cup of coffee I decided to read one of the old AZ Highways magazines from the stack I'd been given. Wonderful mag, photos, stories, perfect Sunday morning indulgence. An article "Navajo grandmother shares her Plant Wisdom for everyday living" catches my eye.

It's a great narrative on a 70-80ish grandmother, Katherine Peshlakai, passing on traditional knowledge. The writer and a few others are with her on a walk to gather native food and dye plants. She harvests wild onion (must know which variety as one is poisonous, the other a tasty foodstuff) and a saltbush with "ears".


She says " They taste a little greasy, but eaten like spianch they are very good".

So there you have it, Sunday Morning tumbleweed trivia.

If I had your tumbleweed troubles, I'd be out there harvesting right now and seeing about some sauted tumbleweed with minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil :) (...stirred and cooked quickly over high heat, just rinsed then shaken free of most water, drizzled with just a bit of EVOO when finished to make it glossy, it's my fave spinach preparation). Oh, I so hope you'll report back if you try them this way....

Source: AZ Highways magazine, April 2004, author Rose Houk of Flagstaff

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 2:12PM
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desert_baby(z9 AZ)

Actually, they still do the tumbleweed Christmas tree every year in downtown Chandler (Chandler Blvd. and Arizona Ave. in the little square).

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 3:53PM
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Quite funny I ran across this thread.

I too live in your area and specifically came to this forum for a tubleweed specific question....how to get rid of the darn things. Round up concentrate and diluted lightly still does no kill them. I'm in South Gilbert, new home and need to get these things under control before they overtake my dirt farm. I'm going to try using a shovel or hoe to cut the things in half. If you find another solution.....by all means post it.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 2:06PM
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If you are allowed to have goats, they (and horses) love to eat the green tumbleweed seedlings. Our area is surrounded by tumbleweeds, but we never have had a problem.
Can you get ahold of a muscovy duck? they are quackless and they graze, and they don't need a pond.
Just some alternatives to spraying...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:13AM
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I just cut them up with a hoe or the flat end of a pick, then throw away the pieces. Do you have a fence? Keeping them out is the best route. Pulling them up is impossible.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 5:04AM
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I use a square tipped shovel with a sharpened blade and just scoot it along the ground. That motion feels better than chopping with a hoe for hours, and you can kick the shovel to help on the tough ones. I'm glad the root has a break-away spot at ground level. Mine don't re-grow from the root.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Has anyone tried using boiling water or 20% vinegar on these? I'm thinking of trying it as soon as the ground thaws..:)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 9:27AM
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