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Hedge Parsley (Torilis arvensis), aka Beggar's Lice

Posted by Blackie1956 Southern Oregon (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 24, 11 at 10:45

We have quite a few acres of oak savannah, and this weed, with it tiny little burrs that stick in your socks, your dog's coat, etc, is a pain in the butt and needs to be eradicated. We would appreciate any advice from those who may have experience with this weed. There is far to much of it to pull out of the ground (plus, it is hard to see), and it is intermixed with wild grasses. The land is without irrigation. Please let me know your thoughts. Our goal is to have 5 acres surrounding our home that is free of this pesky weed.

Options I can think of:
1. Massive spraying: would wipe out everything, but new weeds would be able to come in. Plus...very costly to buy that much Round-Up.
2. Plow or till the land, and over-seed it with a dry land pasture mix, hoping that the new grasses would crowd out the weed.
3. Just mow it down before it goes to seed each year. The only problem with this is that you may have to mow it (brush hog) it more than once. Tractor work can be costly.
4. Combinations of the above.
5. Will goats eat this stuff? One forum I went to implied that they do not eat it--which seems dubious given the fact that goats will eat just about anything, including star thistle.


Thanks for reading!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hedge Parsley (Torilis arvensis), aka Beggar's Lice

1. Spraying may well kill off the plants growing there now but will not prevent reinfestation so will need to be repeated. This may also destroy wanted wild flowers. Spraying poisons has many adverse environmental affects.
2. Plowing/tilling, actually the same thing, would be like spraying. You would bury current growth but as plants grew back those "weeds" could also. This may also destroy wanted wild flowers.
3. Mowing, especially if done before the plants set seed, would be helpful, but as you stated will need to be repeated often during the growing season. If there are wild flowers growing there this may also destroy them.
4. Each method, alone or in combination, has problems.
5. Goats could help control things but they will also eat any of the desirable plants growing there.

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