Ridding Camp of Those Pesky Goat's Heads

These invasive and pernicious weeds go by many names: Tribulus terrestris, puncture vine, caltrop or small caltrops, bullhead, cat's-head, devil's eyelashes, devil's-thorn, devil's-weed. From the names alone you can see why we might want to wipe this out of camp! Here are some ideas:

Plants That Can Choke Out Goat's Head:

Desert Mallow is a great natural wildflower to promote in your yard. These perennial desert plants flower all summer long. The best part is that if allowed to grow and propagate, these beauties will help choke out goat's head weed. They require nothing: no watering and no fertilizer. Just let them flourish and you will have wonderful orange flowers that last. They are easily grown from cuttings and they reseed each year.

Late Winter/Spring (March-June)

Lay down a pre-emergent weed killer like Surflan, which contains oryzalin and trifluralin, as a preventative. Or use a home remedy weed killer: Dilute 1/2 cup each of Epsom salts and vinegar in a gallon of water and spray thoroughly. Avoid spraying any "good" ground covers, as you want them to flourish and take space away from the Evil One.

Summer (July-September)

At the first sign of their little green bodies, spray with weed killer. Tip: Spray and then cover with a sun-blocking tarp for about a week. Start this process close to the house and move outward. Peek under the tarp, and when the plants have turned yellow/brown, remove the tarp and move on to the next step.

Remove the goat's head plants, including the roots, with an upright weeder. You can pull them out by hand, but make sure to wear protective gloves. Grip the entire plant as close to the ground as possible and slowly pull sideways to get the entire root system out. Pulling straight up usually snaps the plant off, leaving the roots still underground.

Rake the area, removing all debris, and put it into the trash. Finally, sweep the area you cleared to pick up any thorns. Remember to always put goat's head weeds and thorns in your trash or burn them because they reseed.

If you have not used chemicals, plant wildflowers or cultivate other ground covers to choke the goat's head plants out.

Invite your neighbors over to admire your work, sit back, have a cold one and bask in your success!

45 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All