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Goatheads ( huge grassburs) #398146 - Ask Extension


Goatheads ( huge grassburs) #398146

Asked May 06, 2017, 1:15 PM EDT

I live in El Paso, Texas.   We have grassburs called goatheads and they are huge.  I recently planted 2 lemon, 1 grapefruit, and 1 avocado tree.  When I water the trees, the goatheads take over instead of grass.  How do I fertilize the fruit trees without building a sticker patch?  Can I use Weed & Feed under the trees to fertilize them and possibly kill the goatheads or will it harm my trees?

El Paso County Texas

Expert Response

Thanks for the question.  Combination products such as weed and feed have a spotty track record and do indeed have the potential to kill any broadleaf plant such as a tree.  Go ahead and fertilize the trees as necessary and deal with the goatheads as they pop up.  In the long run, this will be to your advantage.

The most effective way to eliminate goatheads is by using a pre-emergent labeled for their control.  Another excellent method is mechanical removal.  This may be a very good option in your case since it doesn't seem as if your orchard is very large.  A hoop hoe can quickly eliminate a small patch of weeds.

And using pre-emergents and physical removal together would be even more effective than using a single method of control.  

Since the seeds are viable for about five years, one goal should be to keep the goathead plants from developing seeds.  Eventually, you'll win this war.
Jeff Floyd Replied May 11, 2017, 5:46 PM EDT

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