It is imperative to your horse’s health to get rid of Ragwort from a field where they graze. Timing and equipment are key areas to consider when killing, or removing the weed, along with the correct protective gear for you.
When Ragwort is actively growing, it is unpalatable to horses. However, the danger comes when the weed has wilted in the field or dried and found in hay. Once wilted, it remains toxic to horses but loses its bitter taste and will readily be eaten.
Often, landowners are keen to remove the problem for you. However, if you need to do it yourself here is a selection of products, tools and tips to help get rid of Ragwort for once and all.
Remember, whenever you are handling ragwort, wear gloves.
How do I get rid of Ragwort from a field?
There are several ways to get rid of Ragwort:
- A Herbicide
- Ragwort Fork
- Pulling by hand
A herbicide can kill the weed and prevent re-growth. Once dead, removal is recommended, and animals should be kept away from the area for two weeks (from when treated). It can take up to two years of consistent removal to eradicate the problem. Recommendation: once removed, frequent ‘checks’ should be made – as the weed can quickly be received from neighbouring land.
Barrier H Ragwort Killer is a year-round treatment – however, the weed (in its entirety) should be sprayed during the rosette stage. The product is fully licensed and eco friendly.
Where to buy:
Viovet: Available in a 5ltr container click here.
Choosing a specifically designed fork to remove Ragwort from your field will not only save you time, and your back, but it’ll prevent the chance of absorbing toxins into your bloodstream through your hands and arms.
It’s worth purchasing a ragwort fork, over trying to use a traditional mucking out type, as the prongs are specifically designed to penetrate deep into the ground to remove all of the routes.
Top tip: Wait until the ground has is wet before removing Ragwort – by hand or with a fork – as the surrounding area will release the routeing system easier when soft.
Where to buy
Amazon: Available in pink or blue – click here
Pulling by Hand
The least recommended option due to the dangers ragwort poses to human health, however, if you have to do so then use a good pair of gardening gloves, and long sleeves, to prevent absorbing the toxins through the skin on your hands and arms.
Choose a day after rain. Firmly hold the weed where it meets the ground, and wiggle around slightly before attempting to pull. This helps loosen routes. Slowly start to withdraw from the ground trying to minimise root breakage.
How to dispose of the pulled Ragwort
When you have removed the weed, it is advisable to burn it in a skip or similar – avoid throwing it on the muck heap especially if it is to be spread on other fields grazed by animals.
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