I am having a serious problem with goat heads at my property in Fruita. We have been pulling them and spraying them, but they are coming up faster than we can deal with them. What would you suggest? Are weevils an option around here? Is there a pesticide you would recommend?
Mesa County Colorado
Thank you for trying to control your goat heads! They grow so fast it is difficult to control them.
If they are in an area where spraying isn't going to affect anything else, a combination of glyphosate (formerly Round-up, now available in many brands) and 2,4-D is effective in killing the plants. Mix the concentrated chemicals according to label directions into the same gallon of water. This will kill just about anything though, so be careful with it. This will still leave the stickers to deal with though.
Because this is an annual weed, it is not necessary to get the entire root system if you are pulling. Just cutting the root an inch or two below the surface is enough to keep it from coming back. So a sharp shovel or hoe is a pretty good method too.
Some people have success against this weed using a propane burner. This isn't usually hot enough to kill the seed heads though, so that problem will still remain.
Bicycle riders everywhere applaud your efforts!