Burdocks!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Runestone, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Runestone

    Runestone Well-Known Member

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    :help: I am fighting a battle with burdocks. When we moved here 2 years ago, the blinking things were 5 ft tall! I needed to use pruning shears to get rid of them. I've managed to control them in the dogs fenced area (80x60) but they are taking over in other areas. Last summer I wasn't able to keep them mowed down and now I've got a huge crop that has gone to seed.
    I need to make sure they don't spread into our hayfields so....any suggestions?
    While I'm not keen on using herbicides - I'm open to that suggestion if it will help me get the blasted stuff to a managable area. Once I kill them off, I think I can keep the rest under control by mowing.

    Thanks
     
  2. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They have a two year life cycle, only produce seed the second year, then die. I would think mowing several times a year, to lawn height, should keep them from producing seed. Then just keep that up while all the seeds that are already there sprout and get mowed and you should be pretty clear of them. If you see one going to seed, whack it to the ground with a machete.

    Goats would maybe eat quite a bit of it:shrug:
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cut, burn and keep it mowed would be my suggestion. I suppose you could dump salt at the base of each plant too but that might be an endless job.
     
  4. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    gather as much of that seed as you can and burn it. as stated above, keep the plants knocked down as best as you can. i am not so sure about the two year life cycle. i seem to have big plants in the same spot year after year. dig them up if you can, but they do root deep.
     
  5. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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  6. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    http://www.sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca/science/splep/comm_burdock.html

    I read up on it a little more, if the plant isn't doing real well it can delay flowering for up to a few years, but once it flowers it does not come back the next year.

    What you're seeing is a mature plant leaving a big bare spot on the ground covered with its seeds. Check around those big flowering plants, you'll probably find next years in the rosette stage.

    The good news is the seed appears to be short lived(for a weed), most of it should germinate within two years.
     
  7. .netDude

    .netDude Well-Known Member

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    I had an overgrown pasture with tons of them. In the spring, I'd pull the entire plant out. It's very easy if you do it just as the snow is melting and the ground is wet, they just pull right out tap root and all. Did this for 2 springs and it cleaned them up. I didn't burn them or anything, but I did graze the pastures every summer.
    Seems like a lot of work, but I walk the pastures frequently and would just pull a few at a time.
     
  8. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Well, any unwanted plant is a weed of course, but Burdock is a useful herb! It's a popular vegetable in Japanese cookery.

    Culinary Uses: Shoots and roots can be simmered, then stirfried. Young leaves can be cooked as greens. Roots may be grated raw into salads.

    Medicinal Uses: Roots are used to treat colds and flu, gout, measles, vertigo, hives, urinary tract infections, constipation, leprosy, dandruff, burns, ulcers, eczema, and are an effective detoxifier. It contains mild anti-cancer agents. If stung by stinging nettles, rub on the juice of a leaf of Burdock. A poultice of crushed leaves will ease sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, aches and bruises. An infusion of the leaves has a sedative effect. Seeds are used to treat fever, cough, swellings, mumps, skin diseases and carbuncles. Root contains insulin. Has been used in the treatment of AIDS patients.

    In folk magic, burdock was considered a powerful herb that could protect home and stables and played a role in transfer magic.

    Start your eradication program by removing the flowers and seedheads as they appear. That at least will prevent more babies from coming up while you tackle the adults!
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    lol, what i am probably seeing is a large plant that was ready to flower and got wacked with a hoe only to return the next season...repeat...repeat.


    culpepper...

    i participated in a thread on burdock last year. i had so much of it growing in my garden that i considered harvesting it. someone pointed out that there are several species of burdock and that normally only one is used for food and medicine. can you offer anything to that? i still have the burdock and would still like to sell it for spite, lol.
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    My old poultry pen had a massive outcropping of burdock once I stopped having birds there for a few years. I try and manage it by using lopping pruners to cut it down before it ever has a chance to blossom. Those big leaves over the cut stems and further grass clipping mulch seems to be keeping it in check. Don't allow it to go to seed, is the main thing, or you'll have it all over the place.
     
  11. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I'm a lopper-user when it comes to burdock, too. That stuff is TOUGH!

    Keep it from going to seed; If it actually keeps coming back until it seeds, it may make sense to let it get to flower bud stage, but cut it before the flower opens.

    You could also lop it off at the base and pour some regular old table salt into the stump. That should kill it off with little or no damage to the area around it.

    I have heard it has uses, too, but the stuff is so darned invasive. Not as bad as canadian thistle, nor as prickly, but it is certainly tenacious!

    Pony!
     
  12. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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  13. FUNKY PIONEER

    FUNKY PIONEER No I don't smell Funky

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    Yup its absolutely edible and your should dig up the root and sell it to gormet supermarkets, healthfood stores and reasteraunts.
     
  14. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    We used to battle burdocks. Then we got pigs. Pigs love burdocks. They eat the tops. They dig up the roots and eat those too. No more burdocks.

    Don't mix sheep and burdocks.
     
  15. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    That is the understatement of the day........
     
  16. earlyriser44

    earlyriser44 Member

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    We used to mow once in the spring,then turn sheep into burdock infested pastures.... bye bye burdock. The sheep ate them before they ever got big enough to think about going to seed. We never had any trouble with ragweed, burdock or any broadleaf weeds as long as we had sheep.
     
  17. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When you whack the stem off at ground level, pour straight vinegar on the cut stem, it goes to the root and kills it without harming the ground, I use vinegar for all my "unwanted' weeds, works really well on thistle also. Someone is confusing mullein with butdock, mullein is the plant that forms flatish rosettes the first year, then flowers and seeds the second year. Mullein has a VERY large, soft, fuzzy leaf, burdock had thinish non fuzzy almost broad grass shaped leaves. Mullein is also known as rabbit ears, the leaves are so soft.
     
  18. linda in se ny

    linda in se ny Well-Known Member

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    Sheep are a good solution just not when the sticker part s are on them but in the spring they will eat the leaves down to the quick and never give them a chance to grow. Now we only have problems in places where the sheep don't graze.
     
  19. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

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    get ya some crossbow and follow the directions no need to kill yourself fighting those things. just mix it and spray when they start growing you will have no more burdock. it only kills broad leaf stuff so ur grass would be fine.
     
  20. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    I once dug a hole in the concreet flour that had been their for 30 years in a building and a week later there was a suprise found in the ditch. Grouing out of the lide there was a Burdock. The seeds or roots must have been there for at least 30 years and when it got moisture light and heat the thing sprouted and it came up.