thin prolific tumbleweed in an unirrigated pasture

Asked September 27, 2019, 6:17 PM EDT

we live in missouri heights outside of carbondale colo. We have 20 acres of unirrigated pasture. initially the "foliage of grass had yellow flowers then as the summer season became more dry and now the pasture is now covered with thin limbed "tumble bushes" that blow into our fencing and neighbors fencing as the winds prevail. We are presently having the field "brush hogged" for fire mitigation. I am asking what this plant might be and is there anything that can be done to recultivate our fields and rejeuvinate the soil. As I said we do not have water rights but this is the first time I've seen such a slurge of weeds in our 35 yrs here

Garfield County Colorado kochia weed management tumbleweed russian thistle

1 Response

Thank you for using the Ask an expert service!

In Colorado, "Tumbleweeds" are primarily comprised of Russian Thistle and/or Kochia.

Recommendations revolve around preventing these plants from re-seeding, by intensively managing these populations for 2-3 years (because the seeds are fairly short-lived and only viable for a couple of years).

For management recommendations (including herbicides) please visit:
https://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/weeds-cultural-problems/2124-kochia-russian-thistle/
https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/natural-resources/identification-and-management-of-kochia-and-russian-thistle-6-314/

You can contact the Garfield County Vegetation Management Team for more information and resources:
https://www.garfield-county.com/vegetation-management/index.aspx

Thanks,