Field full of weeds
QI recently bought a small field of 1.75 acres. The field has lots of dock and thistle. It was originally ploughed so it’s a bit lumpy. I graze goats on it at the moment, but they don’t eat the thistle or docks and I want to get rid of the weeds and improve the grass quality. I am low on large tools (tractor etc) and after a heavy quote (£1,300 - ouch) would like to have a go myself. Any ideas?
ADebbie Kingsley says: With that size of plot it’s perfectly possible to tackle this by hand. For a similar size field we would go out in spring and summer evenings with grass hooks and spend half an hour cutting them down a bit at a time, say a 10 metre square patch each session, thoroughly dealing with that area. If you have a strimmer and don’t mind their infernal racket, you can tackle more per session. We find our sheep and cattle will graze on new growth but don’t like the tough, older weeds. The regular cutting will weaken plants over time but you will find regrowth that needs your repeated attention. For a more robust approach dig out the thistles and docks, making sure you do this before they flower and spread their seed even further. You could also use a weed burner - I’ve not used one myself but understand that a couple of goes may be needed to stop weeds returning. If you are at your wit’s end you may have to resort to spot treating with weedkiller, in particular for the worst infestations. Once you’re rid of the weeds, apply grass seed by hand on the bare patches.
Goats don’t like thistles