Goldenrod Control

DaveFromMi

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Apr 14, 2021
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I have a meadow, maybe about 4 acres on a fairly gentle slope that is getting overrun with goldenrod. A couple of years ago it was overrun with ironweed, but the goldenrod has displaced that.
From some web research, the best way to mechanically control it is mowing it twice a year to prevent it from going to seed. It would take at least 2 years to get a good control of it.
Since goldenrod is a tall weed and I want to minimize damage to "good" plants and grass, I am thinking of using the bush hog set at the max height to cut it. I have the RCR1260 and specs say the max cutting height with the tail wheel on the ground is 10".
I appreciate your thoughts on controlling this weed.
 

SDT

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I have a meadow, maybe about 4 acres on a fairly gentle slope that is getting overrun with goldenrod. A couple of years ago it was overrun with ironweed, but the goldenrod has displaced that.
From some web research, the best way to mechanically control it is mowing it twice a year to prevent it from going to seed. It would take at least 2 years to get a good control of it.
Since goldenrod is a tall weed and I want to minimize damage to "good" plants and grass, I am thinking of using the bush hog set at the max height to cut it. I have the RCR1260 and specs say the max cutting height with the tail wheel on the ground is 10".
I appreciate your thoughts on controlling this weed.
If you do not wish to spray it, I would mow it at normal mowing height. Mowing will not damage the grass unless it is badly scalped.

I expect that it will take more than two yearly mowings and more than two years.

SDT
 
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ken erickson

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Dave,

I am curious as to what species of goldenrod your dealing with? As I am sure you know there are many species , some more weedy and invasive than others.
Canada Goldenrod(Solidago canadensis) is usually the culprit when it comes to forming a monoculture and out competing other native plant species. Many of the other goldenrod species are very beneficial. I planted 4 species on my 26 acre oak/savanna restoration site.

You did not mention what your goals are for the meadow. One thing to consider with goldenrods is that they normally will bloom late in the growing season and provide nectar to pollinators setting up for the winter.

Depending on your goals and how diverse or not diverse the native plant community is a round of herbicide and prescribed burning maybe your best way forward. I would encourage you to reach out to your local US Fish and Wildlife , Partners for wildlife , private landowners biologist for a site visit.

partners
 
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jyoutz

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MX6000 HST open station. JD4100 for sale
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Dave,

I am curious as to what species of goldenrod your dealing with? As I am sure you know there are many species , some more weedy and invasive than others.
Canada Goldenrod(Solidago canadensis) is usually the culprit when it comes to forming a monoculture and out competing other native plant species. Many of the other goldenrod species are very beneficial. I planted 4 species on my 26 acre oak/savanna restoration site.

You did not mention what your goals are for the meadow. One thing to consider with goldenrods is that they normally will bloom late in the growing season and provide nectar to pollinators setting up for the winter.

Depending on your goals and how diverse or not diverse the native plant community is a round of herbicide and prescribed burning maybe your best way forward. I would encourage you to reach out to your local US Fish and Wildlife , Partners for wildlife , private landowners biologist for a site visit.

partners
USFWS and most biologists aren’t the best sources for vegetation management recommendations. Contact your local state land grant university cooperative extension service or the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.
 
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ken erickson

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USFWS and most biologists aren’t the best sources for vegetation management recommendations. Contact your local state land grant university cooperative extension service or the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Thats the reason I asked what Daves goals for the meadow was. The US fish and Wildlife biologist I worked with was EXTREMELY knowledgeable about plant species and the control of . If Daves goals are to establish native species and control invasive species I stand by my recommendation of contacting US Fish Wildlife, Partners for wildlife.
 

jyoutz

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Thats the reason I asked what Daves goals for the meadow was. The US fish and Wildlife biologist I worked with was EXTREMELY knowable about plant species and the control of . If Daves goals are to establish native species and control invasive species I stand by my recommendation of contacting US Fish Wildlife, Partners for wildlife.
USFWS does have some botanists in some offices, but most are wildlife biologists.
 

DaveFromMi

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Apr 14, 2021
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I believe the Goldenrod is of the Canadian variety, eh?
Across the creek, note the patches of dead goldenrod, broomsage, and some various grasses. There are many wildflowers in warmer weather. I am OK with what is there except for the goldenrod. I walk through there before the weeds get tall and spray anything with a brier on it. Have been spraying wild rose, blackberry, honey locust, etc.
 

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Elliott in GA

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FWIW, I reclaimed a field (about 2.75 acres) this year from a variety of problems (unburned burn piles, fire ants and weeds including Horse Nettles - a horrible weed). I used an inexpensive granular Weed and Feed fertilizer (Vigoro from Home Depot) with my LP spreader in the spring plus mowing every two weeks at 5.25 inches. I planned to re-apply the Weed and Feed this fall, but it was not needed. The grass is in good shape, and I would estimate that the Horse Nettles are nearly 100% gone. The Weed and Feed helped the grass choke out the dead/weakened weeds, and the mowing prevented any weeds from blooming/reseeding.

Weed and Feed should harm your Goldenrod. https://princegardening.com/complete-guide-to-2-4-d-weed-killer/

No matter what you decide on, mow your grass at least 4 inches high; it really helps it compete with the weeds. In my situation, the five inch grass was also inhospitable to the fire ants (which I had devastated with granular insecticide). I would just walk the field every two weeks, during the summer, to sprinkle a little Amdro on the occasional tiny fire ant mound.
 
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DaveFromMi

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The butterflies seem to like the goldenrod, but there are many other varieties of wildflower as well. In the summer nights, the number of lightning bugs at night is incredible. There are quail and turkeys in the meadow. Thus, I would like to avoid selective herbicides. I do spray sticker bushes and small trees. Backed the bush hog into several smaller diameter honey locust trees. There are a couple of thick places over there where the deer bed down.
 
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ken erickson

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I think its a shame that Canada Goldenrod can form a monoculture . It really is a fantastic late season pollinator plant species. I have two stands that I have been monitoring to keep in check. On a still late August or early Sept day there are thousands of insects, from the smallest sweat bees to honey and bumble bees all the way to Monarchs , Eastern tiger swallow tails etc. At times it sounds like a constant hum.
A lot of folks also blame the goldenrods for hay fever. Hay fever is caused by the air born pollen from ragweed.

Keeping on track, I am just not sure that a pre-bloom late season mowing is going to control or reduce your Canada Goldenrod.

The picture is one of my two stands that I have been monitoring to make sure they do not spread.
DSC00175.JPG
 
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DaveFromMi

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2-3 years ago, there may have been a few goldenrods, the prominent noxious weed was the ironweed. It was displaced in a short time.
It's interesting that the goldenrods are growing in patches.
 

ken erickson

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2-3 years ago, there may have been a few goldenrods, the prominent noxious weed was the ironweed. It was displaced in a short time.
It's interesting that the goldenrods are growing in patches.
The largest stand of Goldenrod was an existing stand when I purchased the land(2017). All around it I had completed forestry mulching, a round of Milestone and one of Roundup. Then followed by a fall no-till drilling in of a diverse native mix, 40+ Forbes, 6 native grasses. I think this is what helped to contain it thus far.

The experts have told me not to worry too much about the goldenrod and common mullien. Spotted Knapweed has been my main foe! LOL
 

JimmyJazz

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I have maybe an acre or two of that Goldenrod on my farm. I never gave it a thought. The bugs do seem to enjoy it. I don't believe mine is spreading to the point of it becoming worrisome. Now thorn bushes that's another story. I mow them maybe every 2 or 3 years. I feel most problems are only problems if you feel they are. Most of our changes will revert in time to its natural state. I try not to fight it. Good luck.
 

DaveFromMi

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Some plants have to be extra aggressive to survive in Japan or China. These plants can take over everything if allowed to exist here. Some examples are kudzu, multifloura rose, bush honeysuckle, Japanese honeysuckle vines and autumn olive. No Kudzu here yet, but I have the rest. It's an annual fight to keep them down.
 

jyoutz

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The largest stand of Goldenrod was an existing stand when I purchased the land(2017). All around it I had completed forestry mulching, a round of Milestone and one of Roundup. Then followed by a fall no-till drilling in of a diverse native mix, 40+ Forbes, 6 native grasses. I think this is what helped to contain it thus far.

The experts have told me not to worry too much about the goldenrod and common mullien. Spotted Knapweed has been my main foe! LOL
Mullien is an early pioneer species and likes disturbed soil. Over time perennial grasses will out-compete mullien and it will fade away, but in my experience this takes about 10 years. Mullien especially likes to establish in burned areas such as wildfires or where brush piles were burned.
 
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MuttCat

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I try to manage my goldenrod acreage and intruding green ash as "early successional" ...it's my bird thing. But one thing for sure, the goldenrod will smother out invasive parsnip. I used to brush hog once a year, now I don't bother, but I do go after the ash and apples once in a while with a small chain saw.
 
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jyoutz

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2-3 years ago, there may have been a few goldenrods, the prominent noxious weed was the ironweed. It was displaced in a short time.
It's interesting that the goldenrods are growing in patches.
No doubt that those patches were either bare ground or sparse grass.
 
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sheepfarmer

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No doubt that those patches were either bare ground or sparse grass.
My impression from trying to weed out goldenrod from a flowerbed is that it has underground runners that would make it appear in patches. I hate that type of weed! Especially the thistle that grows that way. Neither hand weeding nor mowing nor spot application of roundup gets rid of it.
 
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