How to Get Rid of Foxtails
A home garden is a thing of beauty as it offers a variety of colors for the eye and the lush greenery it produces is soothing. However, there are cases that unwanted plants would grow in our garden and in the process they become a nuisance rather than a benefit to your garden. They can steal other plant’s nutrients and what’s worst, it can cause hazard to your pets such as your dogs and other domestic animals.
Foxtails are also called as spear grass since they feature a spikelet that can become a health hazard to your pets that roam in the garden. Their growth is encouraged by movement and they can be disturbed by foot traffic caused by humans and domestic animals. There are species of foxtails that are not hazardous but the one that causes hazard usually grows in the garden.
Foxtails growing in the garden should be removed since, as mentioned earlier, they can cause several health hazards. Although extra care should be exercised when dealing with them as you don’t want to damage the other plants that exist alongside them. Here are some of the things that you can do to get rid of foxtails safely:
Water and vinegar solution
The acid in vinegar can kill foxtails so you can spray them directly to the foxtails. You should make sure that the other plants are not affected as the acid can kill them. When you apply vinegar to the foxtail, what you can do is fill a spray bottle with it and set the nozzle to spray so that the vinegar will be sprayed gently.
When spraying it, be sure to just focus on the area where the foxtails are and spray it directly to it to maximize the effect. If there is large concentration of foxtails in a particular area, you can kill foxtails by applying vinegar several times and saturate them for about a couple of days.
Once you have pulled out any remaining foxtails in the garden, you should spray the soil where you found them so that it can kill the remaining barbules that can repopulate the area which will just start the problem again.
Pick up barbules
Once you kill foxtails, do not rake them since their barbules will spread in the soil and new set of foxtails can grow out of it. What you can do is to wear gloves so that you don’t poke yourself and pick them up by hand. When you put them in a bag, place them far from the soil so that if the bag is punctured, the barbules won’t find themselves back in the soil where they can repopulate.
Pull out the roots
If you decide to pull foxtails manually, you should always wear gloves since foxtails can sting you. You can use trowel or a small shovel and plow through the soil making sure that you dig deep so that the roots will be pulled together with the foxtail.
Herbicides can kill selectively or it may kill all other plants altogether. Using the same technique as when spraying vinegar to foxtails, you can opt to use different types of herbicides to kill foxtails. If the foxtails are clumped together with other types of plants, you should avoid using this especially if you are going to spray this in the soil.