Perfect Pastures: Readers Share Weed Control Strategies

About 840 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "How do you manage weeds in your pastures?"

 

results of poll on pasture management

Results were as follows: 

  • Mowing the pasture 74.05% (622)
  • Spraying the weeds 14.64% (123)
  • I don't manage the weeds 11.31% (95)

Readers shared what they do to control the weeds in the comments below.

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  • I mow pulling a drag behind to further break up the piles. Sometimes I mow twice a week apart.
  • I have been looking for slow feeders to reduce weight but prevent ulcers
  • Plus selecting overgrazing and reseeding
  • we dont the horses eat them
  • My husband has every grass cutting tool known to mankind. Constant care to manage 10 acres!
  • The weeds manage me, I hand pull and dig out horrible dock weed and bristle grass, mowing ineffectiv
  • many of the 'weeds' has a medicinal quality which controls many functions to keep the horses healthy
  • pasture rotation and fertilization
  • mowing with goats
  • none of the above...I hand pull them
  • I use a 2-4-D spray several times a season
  • What few I have I hoe---desert life can be good
  • pastures get rotated every 8 days and clipped right after being vacated
  • Actually , I both mow and spray
  • ALSO MOW THEM
  • I try to keep ahead of the weeds, by chopping and larger areas spraying. Also I mow when ever I can
  • I don't have a pasture because I live in So. CA. Sure wish I did have a pasture.
  • goats eat them
  • We have 8 goats that keep our place weed free!
  • what pasture? wooded turnout means very little grass or weeds. just dirt and mud!
  • When I can afford diesel for the tractor, that is!
  • Soil testing and lime/fertilizer as indicated.
  • Rotational and managed grazing so taht the grass stays healthy to outcompete weeds naturally
  • I both mow and spray
  • we both mow & spray
  • and pull them by hand
  • I board our horses, and the farm owner's goats handle the weeds! :)
  • since my horse is an easy keeper, I try not to have too lush a pasture
  • Pulling by hand
  • besides mowing spraying target weeds
  • I wish the barn owner would mow weeds before they go to seed, but they are too lazy
  • We spray thistle, burdock & nightshade and mow the rest.
  • My pastures don't have weeds at all. lucky me :) in fact, there isn't even grass! not so lucky.
  • Sheep!
  • pulling the weeds by hand also
  • in addition to spraying weeds and grazing rotation
  • No Pasture!
  • i also spray the weeds, and pull up some of them.
  • I mow and spray and hand pull the poisonous ones
  • Mow & spray
  • We use sprays as well as slashing grass. We also test our soil.
  • Spray is last resort, I pull them also
  • Live in Arizona desert - no pasture for us! Lots of weeds though, have goats.
  • we mow pastures at least twice a summer.
  • mow and sprey
  • I turn out the horses. They manage the weeds.
  • non of the above, volcanic rock fertiziler, fix the soil, eliminate the weeds
  • Pulling and digging
  • multispecies grazing (goats, sheep)
  • I pull them out when I see them
  • I wish I knew how. The most cost effective way. I get depressed looking out my front window.
  • goats prefer weeds, brambles
  • Southern Cal. Dry turnout, can't afford water to have pasture
  • I don't over graze.
  • I both mow and spray
  • i mow and spray in the spring
  • spray AND mow
  • pull them out by hand
  • Mostly, we mow, but if this isn't enough, we spray.
  • I try to mow before weeds can go to seed, and do some very limited and targeted spraying.
  • we have dry sand pastures little will grow in it
  • I'm a bit paranoid about chemicals and horses...OH
  • Pull out the low leaf ones
  • No pasture here (desert); mow weeds on property for fire protection, however.
  • we mow them, spray them, once dead we aerate and scatter grass seed
  • professionally sprayed with horse safe weed killer
  • Mostly by mowing; spray spring and fall
  • spray and mow
  • I have a hand wicker, I walk the pasture and wick weeds with roundup.
  • mowing and spraying
  • I would like to spray as well as mow, but I am concerned about the possible toxic effects.
  • I really need to learn more about pasture management
  • We spray for weeds as well
  • why is there only an "either / or" option? I mow and spray.
  • The weeds are trying to take over!!
  • Use a 'weed & feed' in the spring + mow, mow, mow and more mow.
  • I would like to know how to manage the weeds without killing the grasses.
  • I USE WEED AND FEED ON WEEDY PATCHES
  • broad leaf herbicide applicaton and mowing
  • mow, mow, mow!!
  • manually pull out weeds as well
  • mowing and Weedmaster
  • Combination of mowing, spraying and seeding in forage species
  • Pull by hand
  • Mowing, pulling & snipping... then burn em!
  • I actually mow, spray and dig weeds at different times.
  • Between the horses and the lawn mower, weeds are minimal!
  • removing manure from pasture
  • We also walk the pasture on a bi-weekly basis and hand pull toxic plants such as nightshades.
  • I pull them as sson as I see them
  • I have goats; there's not one weed in my pasture
  • 8 yrs drought - weeds won
  • also do some spot spraying
  • weed and feed applications too
  • also spray/salt problem spots
  • i use to mow only, but weeds grew, so now i spray them
  • We also keep pasture mowed as well.
  • Husband sprays.I pulled the wild onions for three years each June.Easy to pull then.Now all gone
  • acombination of mowing and spraying
  • improves forage and makes it look good
  • Our ranch is 6,000 acres.
  • Also spot weed spraying, pulling them up too
  • We mow April, June, October and spray 2/4/D in September. Lime by soil test in March and fertilize
  • None of these. I hand weed regularly.
  • Spray Roundup. I have few weeds
  • GOATS love the weeds
  • manually pulling, spot spraying (off season), aerate, compost
  • and hand pulling
  • I spot spray the worst weeds
  • spray outside pasture, pull or use goat inside paddocks/pasture
  • If I spray I keep animals off the ground for a couple weeks or until we've had sufficient rain.
  • aerating, overseeding, adding compost, maintaining pH with lime, mowing
  • mowing & spraying with 24d
  • I live in CA--we go brown in the summer. I mow the heads off weeds before they go to seed.
  • as well as spraying
  • Goats!
  • frequent mowing, no sprays!
  • Mow and spray, mowing doesn't get the low growers.
  • Fertilizing and weed spraying in the spring. lately we've cut back to every other year due to cost i
  • I have a small "pasture", so pull or dig many of the weeds
  • Mowing 2 to 3 Times per year and sometimes spraying when pastures are being rested
  • I Mow and spray the weeds
  • We pull,mow and spray.Also re-seed
  • Rotational program including different species such as goats and sheep.
  • Mowing, spraying, pulling, burning... whatever it takes!
  • Mow and targeted spray on tough ones
  • I do also occasionally spray, but wait a couple of weeks after I have been able to water and mow it
  • We mow, spray and rotate to prevent overgrazing.
  • routine mowing plus once a year spray
  • It's range land turnout, horses eat hay
  • I dig them out.
  • mowing and spraying
  • We have a vine like weed in the spring. I use a pine straw rake on my tractor to manually remove it
  • having land close to water I don't like to spray
  • oneI need alot more my to renovate my pastures.
  • pulling the hoary alyssum
  • Pasture what Pasture I have a rock Pasture and no weeds
  • Need a catagory for people who go around and pull weeds by hand!
  • Mow and spray
  • Also, spray and re-seed as needed.
  • I pull the toxic ones (mainly star thistle) by hand.
  • I also spray for weeds once ayear
  • need a choice for both mowing and spraying. I do both.
  • Spot treatment.
  • The only weed I must manage is thistles.
  • Good frequent mowing
  • I walk around with a hand sprayer and zap individual weeds. I also mow, but spraying is main method.
  • I also hand cut out iron weed if necessary
  • Rotational grazing, mowing plus occasional spot spraying
  • I also drag harrow in the early spring and fall
  • Regular mowing + periodic spraying for things like Carolina Nettle
  • I mow pulling a drag behind to further break up the piles. Sometimes I mow twice a week apart.
  • I have been looking for slow feeders to reduce weight but prevent ulcers
  • Plus selecting overgrazing and reseeding
  • we dont the horses eat them
  • My husband has every grass cutting tool known to mankind. Constant care to manage 10 acres!
  • The weeds manage me, I hand pull and dig out horrible dock weed and bristle grass, mowing ineffectiv
  • many of the 'weeds' has a medicinal quality which controls many functions to keep the horses healthy
  • pasture rotation and fertilization
  • mowing with goats
  • none of the above...I hand pull them
  • I use a 2-4-D spray several times a season
  • What few I have I hoe---desert life can be good
  • pastures get rotated every 8 days and clipped right after being vacated
  • Actually , I both mow and spray
  • ALSO MOW THEM
  • I try to keep ahead of the weeds, by chopping and larger areas spraying. Also I mow when ever I can
  • I don't have a pasture because I live in So. CA. Sure wish I did have a pasture.
  • goats eat them
  • We have 8 goats that keep our place weed free!
  • what pasture? wooded turnout means very little grass or weeds. just dirt and mud!
  • When I can afford diesel for the tractor, that is!
  • Soil testing and lime/fertilizer as indicated.
  • Rotational and managed grazing so taht the grass stays healthy to outcompete weeds naturally
  • I both mow and spray
  • we both mow & spray
  • and pull them by hand
  • I board our horses, and the farm owner's goats handle the weeds! :)
  • since my horse is an easy keeper, I try not to have too lush a pasture
  • Pulling by hand
  • besides mowing spraying target weeds
  • I wish the barn owner would mow weeds before they go to seed, but they are too lazy
  • We spray thistle, burdock & nightshade and mow the rest.
  • My pastures don't have weeds at all. lucky me :) in fact, there isn't even grass! not so lucky.
  • Sheep!
  • pulling the weeds by hand also
  • in addition to spraying weeds and grazing rotation
  • No Pasture!
  • i also spray the weeds, and pull up some of them.
  • I mow and spray and hand pull the poisonous ones
  • Mow & spray
  • We use sprays as well as slashing grass. We also test our soil.
  • Spray is last resort, I pull them also
  • Live in Arizona desert - no pasture for us! Lots of weeds though, have goats.
  • we mow pastures at least twice a summer.
  • mow and sprey
  • I turn out the horses. They manage the weeds.
  • non of the above, volcanic rock fertiziler, fix the soil, eliminate the weeds
  • Pulling and digging
  • multispecies grazing (goats, sheep)
  • I pull them out when I see them
  • I wish I knew how. The most cost effective way. I get depressed looking out my front window.
  • goats prefer weeds, brambles
  • Southern Cal. Dry turnout, can't afford water to have pasture
  • I don't over graze.
  • I both mow and spray
  • i mow and spray in the spring
  • spray AND mow
  • pull them out by hand
  • Mostly, we mow, but if this isn't enough, we spray.
  • I try to mow before weeds can go to seed, and do some very limited and targeted spraying.
  • we have dry sand pastures little will grow in it
  • I'm a bit paranoid about chemicals and horses...OH
  • Pull out the low leaf ones
  • No pasture here (desert); mow weeds on property for fire protection, however.
  • we mow them, spray them, once dead we aerate and scatter grass seed
  • professionally sprayed with horse safe weed killer
  • Mostly by mowing; spray spring and fall
  • spray and mow
  • I have a hand wicker, I walk the pasture and wick weeds with roundup.
  • mowing and spraying
  • I would like to spray as well as mow, but I am concerned about the possible toxic effects.
  • I really need to learn more about pasture management
  • We spray for weeds as well
  • why is there only an "either / or" option? I mow and spray.
  • The weeds are trying to take over!!
  • Use a 'weed & feed' in the spring + mow, mow, mow and more mow.
  • I would like to know how to manage the weeds without killing the grasses.
  • I USE WEED AND FEED ON WEEDY PATCHES
  • broad leaf herbicide applicaton and mowing
  • mow, mow, mow!!
  • manually pull out weeds as well
  • mowing and Weedmaster
  • Combination of mowing, spraying and seeding in forage species
  • Pull by hand
  • Mowing, pulling & snipping... then burn em!
  • I actually mow, spray and dig weeds at different times.
  • Between the horses and the lawn mower, weeds are minimal!
  • removing manure from pasture
  • We also walk the pasture on a bi-weekly basis and hand pull toxic plants such as nightshades.
  • I pull them as sson as I see them
  • I have goats; there's not one weed in my pasture
  • 8 yrs drought - weeds won
  • also do some spot spraying
  • weed and feed applications too
  • also spray/salt problem spots
  • i use to mow only, but weeds grew, so now i spray them
  • We also keep pasture mowed as well.
  • Husband sprays.I pulled the wild onions for three years each June.Easy to pull then.Now all gone
  • acombination of mowing and spraying
  • improves forage and makes it look good
  • Our ranch is 6,000 acres.
  • Also spot weed spraying, pulling them up too
  • We mow April, June, October and spray 2/4/D in September. Lime by soil test in March and fertilize
  • None of these. I hand weed regularly.
  • Spray Roundup. I have few weeds
  • GOATS love the weeds
  • manually pulling, spot spraying (off season), aerate, compost
  • and hand pulling
  • I spot spray the worst weeds
  • spray outside pasture, pull or use goat inside paddocks/pasture
  • If I spray I keep animals off the ground for a couple weeks or until we've had sufficient rain.
  • aerating, overseeding, adding compost, maintaining pH with lime, mowing
  • mowing & spraying with 24d
  • I live in CA--we go brown in the summer. I mow the heads off weeds before they go to seed.
  • as well as spraying
  • Goats!
  • frequent mowing, no sprays!
  • Mow and spray, mowing doesn't get the low growers.
  • Fertilizing and weed spraying in the spring. lately we've cut back to every other year due to cost i
  • I have a small "pasture", so pull or dig many of the weeds
  • Mowing 2 to 3 Times per year and sometimes spraying when pastures are being rested
  • I Mow and spray the weeds
  • We pull,mow and spray.Also re-seed
  • Rotational program including different species such as goats and sheep.
  • Mowing, spraying, pulling, burning... whatever it takes!
  • Mow and targeted spray on tough ones
  • I do also occasionally spray, but wait a couple of weeks after I have been able to water and mow it
  • We mow, spray and rotate to prevent overgrazing.
  • routine mowing plus once a year spray
  • It's range land turnout, horses eat hay
  • I dig them out.
  • mowing and spraying
  • We have a vine like weed in the spring. I use a pine straw rake on my tractor to manually remove it
  • having land close to water I don't like to spray
  • oneI need alot more my to renovate my pastures.
  • pulling the hoary alyssum
  • Pasture what Pasture I have a rock Pasture and no weeds
  • Need a catagory for people who go around and pull weeds by hand!
  • Mow and spray
  • Also, spray and re-seed as needed.
  • I pull the toxic ones (mainly star thistle) by hand.
  • I also spray for weeds once ayear
  • need a choice for both mowing and spraying. I do both.
  • Spot treatment.
  • The only weed I must manage is thistles.
  • Good frequent mowing
  • I walk around with a hand sprayer and zap individual weeds. I also mow, but spraying is main method.
  • I also hand cut out iron weed if necessary
  • Rotational grazing, mowing plus occasional spot spraying
  • I also drag harrow in the early spring and fall
  • Regular mowing + periodic spraying for things like Carolina Nettle

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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