Tarweed taking over

Asked July 25, 2019, 6:50 PM EDT

Live at 3400 ft in Umpqua foothills. Have oak and meadows. Huge increase in tarweed in our meadow this year. Try to keep meadow natural and have not seeded or fertilized. Not enough water source to irrigate. We do mo for fire protection. Have free range cattle that have been very hard on land and pull up most of good green grass. Trying to fence out cattle. Try not to spray because have honey bees and don't want to kill them or taint honey. Try to mow down before they flower and seed but totally out of control with tarweed. Need help! Would overseeding with meadow grass and fertilizer this fall and spring help? Is there something I can spray that will not harm bees?

Douglas County Oregon

4 Responses


Are you using the pastures for your livestock or for wildlife and your enjoyment?


Meadow for wildlife and our enjoyment.

Thank you for the additional information. I only work with improving pastures for commercial livestock production. I am not sure how to advise you for what you are wanting.

Please contact the Douglas County / OSU Master Gardeners on how to improve your meadow. Tell them it is not a livestock pasture or they will send you back to me. Call them at 541-672-4461, M-F 1-4 pm.


P.S. One observation - if what you have is Madia elegans (tarweed) this is a native plant that is habitat for pollinators. Check out this identification to see if it looks like your plants: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MAEL

I've actually planted madia for ecological restoration in Benton County. It can be a part of a healthy prairie ecosystem of native plants. Though it is sticky to walk through, you may want to reconsider keeping it on at least part of your site if your goal is to manage for wildlife and habitat.