Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bulls, Horses, and Nettles

Tom has been fighting the battle of the nettles this year.  We have bull nettles and Carolina horse nettles and some other kind of nettles.  Last year he spent many hours digging the bull nettles out of our 36 acres with shovel in hand.  Since we're trying to keep everything organic, it has been a struggle and the nettles are winning.  Until now.

This is a bull nettle.  It looks remarkably like a watermelon plant.  But don't touch it.  It stings like fire, even through jeans and rubber gloves.

This is a hay field with bull nettles - those clumps that are currently higher than the hay.

This is the natural herbicide, Scythe.  Natural is not organic, but we checked with our organic hay buyer and he's on board with us using the Scythe to get rid of the nettle.  Scythe is mixed with Roundup and diluted with water.  The bull nettle must be treated when it is in flower, not before.

And, within a few hours, this is what bull nettle, treated with Scythe looks like.

This is what a hay field with dead bull nettle looks like.  Splotches of gold among green.

This is an as yet undetermiined nettle.  Last year we were clueless as to how to get rid of this.

As a result, this nettle was taking over in this pasture.  Nettle, meet Scythe.

Die, nettle, die.

Tom spends an hour or so each morning spot treating the nettles.  After a season or two of this, we should be nettle free.

Until today, Tom thought that the nettles in the field pictured above were the Carolina horse nettles.  When he took this to the extension office, they told him that this is a Carolina horse nettle.  Tom is on his way out to add this to his Scything rounds.

Last year we were also overrun with sand burrs.  This natural product from DuPont, Pastora, was recommended for that.  It is diluted with water and sprayed over the entire field when the burr grass is small and hasn't yet produced the burrs.  Tom applied it a few weeks ago, so we don't know the effectiveness of this yet.

1 comment:

Mosaics said...

According to the county extension office, the "undetermined" nettle is buffalo burr.