Praire is full of Golden Rod!

randy_bach(4a Wi.)August 22, 2006

My prarie this year is about 80% Canadian Golden Rod. I don't understand it as there is none any where around my field. How can I deal with it? Will burning help get rid of it, or is roundup my only choice? I can mow it, but don't like to during the nesting season as I have alot of birds nesting in the prarie. Any ideas from you will be appreciated alot.

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ahughes798(z5 IL)

It's a really aggressive goldenrod, that's for sure. Since my prairie is so small, I just keep cutting it back and don't allow it to go to seed. Then I found out it spread by stolons or rhizomes. So now, next spring, I'm going to have to go out with some Round-Up and a 1" paintbrush, and do some painting. Between the Canadian Goldenrod, and the Heath Aster, hardly anything else grows. I'm beginning to get frustrated. Fire doesn't seem to work, either.

Keep in mind that this time of year, goldenrod and asters are pretty predominant in most prairies. April

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 11:14AM
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The best thing to do is to pull it. It comes right out and then it is gone. Just pull the plants that are growing up and you will see the runners, follow up next year if you start to see a few plants coming up, get them early before they spread or get any size to them, they are very distinct. You don't need to use any chemicals. I just pulled some the other day.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:37PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

the problem with pulling is tri fold.

1 is that u can never get it all. the little ends of the rhizomes break and u have more plants to deal with next year. pulling is a prescription for never ending work. unless ur prairie is the size of ur car(which by my definition, its really a prairie at all).

2 is that by pulling up the root systems, u dislodge any "good" seedling that is trying to get established in that area. which brings me to #3...

3 is if u start to pull up the weeds, u have disturbed the soil. and guess what is in the soil, many years worth of goldenrod seeds or any other invasive weed found in ur area. and very few years of the 'good' seeds will not replace the many years of weed seeds. so in essence, u are cultivating for the very weeds u are trying to rid urself of, again creating an endless amount of work with no results.

fire wont work on CG because of the timing, unless ur burning in mid august. and this is one of the plants that reminds me that maybe 1 year isnt enough preplanting management time. but alas humans are much more impatient than prairies. sooooooooooo...

i agree with my bud April. individually paint them. this is much easier and infinately more effective than pulling.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:57AM
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randy_bach(4a Wi.)

No one mentioned aggresive mowing. Would mowing them short constantly help or would they just seed out at 6" high instead of 4-5'? The problem with painting individually is that I have a 6 acre field. I think I may be forced to spray with roundup and then reseed.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:12AM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

I've seen aggressive mowing work, and I've seen it create 6" tall blooming goldenrod..this stuff really, really wants to go to seed!

But if you already have prairie plants more than a couple years old established, continual mowing might harm them, too.

Sorry I didn't realise you had such a large prairie! I fear you may have to go back to square one. Round-up, let it die, let new weeds sprout, round-up, let it die, let new weeds sprout. round up again. I was told that you have to do this over the course of the summer, starting in early summer. The idea is to somewhat exhaust the seed bank. Then, in late fall, early winter, seed with the prairie plant seed.

Froggy, what do you think here? I hate to see people have to start all over again! April

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:33AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

i was writing an answer last night when the power went off in the storm...

i find that aggressive mowing keeps everything at bay, at best. and frankly, when is the last weed that u saw eliminated by mowing? ur only prolonging the enevitable and setting back the good guys.

i dont like to see someone start over either. and unless u are willing to chemically mow for many years, i dont see how starting over helps. i know of only one sure way of elimination of CG and many other nasties, roundup ready farm rotation over about 8+years. so unless u are willing to buy a combine, i think its a management issue and not a redo.

burning doesnt help, mowing doesnt help, chemicals are too broadspectrum, pulling would lead to a what is left? time.

i think ur only weapon is timing of specific management of that plant. its a late season grower. that is the target time for weedwacking/spraying double punch. 24d will take out all forbs but leaves the grasses. so u wait until about 1/10'th of the CG is in flower and u cut the area. CG and many other aggressives will come back out after a few weeks(sadly so will some good guys) and that is when u 24d em. then a fall burn to clean things up. after a few years, u can start adding forbs after the fall burn. will it completely rid urself of GC, nope. but ur choices are few and ugly. also, i find the plants that come up after a mowing are the cheapest and most aggressive ones @ the seed nursery. funny how that works...

by the way, notice how no one said, 'oh just leave it. the finches need food bla bla...'. which is a perfectly viable option. the time, toxins, machines, pollutions, mental energy, neighbors satisfied look as u mow down that 'ugly weedfield'.
pina colada sitting on the arm of the leopold bench as u watch the finches eat the weed and now YOU have the satisfied look on ur face whilst the neighbor looks over at ur weed field in disgust.

toss up


    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 1:59PM
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randy_bach(4a Wi.)

I have the field in CRP in Green County Wi. I'll have to check with the FSA office in Monroe Wi. and see what they want me to do. The field was planted 5 years ago and I do have alot of established grass, big and little bluestem. I think the CGR seeds must have been laying dorment in the field. The first two years the field was full of giant rag weed. The 3rd year was thistles and red clover. Last year I started seeing CGR but not as much as this year.
I have one acre in the field that looks good, lots of grass and forbs so I could spare that section. I'll let you know what I hear back from the FSA office.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 4:02PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

if its CRP, they will tell u to leave it alone, its fine.

so i guess u sit there with the pina colada. which is much better than the alternatives.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 9:20PM
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randy_bach(4a Wi.)

Where in Wisconsin do you live Froggy?
Do you think the prarie grass will eventually choke other undesirables out as it gets thicker?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:51AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

im near the fox valley and not likely in our lifetime unless u manage for them. eventually yes but eventually they will also be coal, eventually being a long time when talking in terms of ecology.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 12:28PM
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