The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay I have a situation :confused:. We are under attack by a plant that is taking over our property!!
It is a non-native plant called "beefsteak plant", is of Asian origin, and is rapidly taking over the place.
Last year we had only a few of these plants on the place.
I finally got the opportunity to take some pictures, just to show how rapidly it has spread.
I have looked on the internet to find some kind of livestock that can eat this stuff. It is not good for cows and my goats don't like it!
It does have some medicinal value and apparently is suitable for human consumption, but I have seen no market for it as yet. If there was, I could probably retire just from harvesting this years crop :cool:!
We are currently trying to cut it down by hand to burn this fall, but that is going to take forever!!
Does anyone know anything about this plant? Any and all advice would be most welcome!!
I am going to call the Department of Conservation today and see if they have any advice. They are the ones who helped me identify the plant.
I think it will just be faster to post a link to the pics as I am on dial-up and by the time I get them uploaded here, my house may be totally consumed by this stuff :eek:.
Here is the link if you want to check out the pictures:

http://www.mypetsonparade.com/forums/topic/161/invasive-plants-beefsteak

P.S. I have never been afraid fo a plant before but this stuff is freaking me out a little :rolleyes:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Its hard to tell how close this is to houses and trees or if it's even an attractive idea to you - but you might contact the fire department and offer up your land for a controlled burn. A neighbor of ours did that, I'm not sure why but it was good practice for the fire department. It would get rid of all the plant in the burn area and lessen your work.

Other than that, I know nothing about this plant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unforunately, we don't have any Asian markets here, but we do have a health food store which sells ethnic foods. Good suggestion, nchen7. I think I will call them today :D!!

Also, we have actually considered whatever we can't cut down by fall, we will just try and do a 'controlled burn' on this winter. We did burn what little we had last year. [It is a very volatile plant, by the way. It must be the mint properties in the plant.] Obviously, it still came back with a vengance this year :mad:.
 

·
Goatless goat momma
Joined
·
7,887 Posts
i'm not sure where you are, but I would think you could probably sell it to a distributor who sells to Asian markets in other areas/states??
 

·
Goats of da UP
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Unforunately, we don't have any Asian markets here, but we do have a health food store which sells ethnic foods. Good suggestion, nchen7. I think I will call them today :D!!

Also, we have actually considered whatever we can't cut down by fall, we will just try and do a 'controlled burn' on this winter. We did burn what little we had last year. [It is a very volatile plant, by the way. It must be the mint properties in the plant.] Obviously, it still came back with a vengance this year :mad:.
I don't think the market will take it, from this quite from the wiki page: The weedy types have often lost the characteristic shiso fragrance and are not suited for eating (cf. perilla ketone). Also, the red leaves are not ordinarily served raw.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,847 Posts
Wow, that is incredible. The problem is that you need to get the roots out too. If you leave the roots, they will just grow back. You almost need to just use a vegetation killer and kill everything. Then till and replant. Hopefully the conservation department will have something easier for you to do to get rid of them.

I just got rid of ground cover in all my flowerbeds and that was horrible. I can't imagine a whole property of needing to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I forgot to ask earlier: what is "weed guard"?
Stacykins: I'm not sure either, but mine is of the 'purple' variety and is still plenty "fragrant". I think the goats might have something to do with its' proliferation?? Maybe they are providing the perfect fertilizer :rolleyes:.
As for using any kind of herbacide...we try to avoid use of those here, because of the critters and all.
We started off this year pulling up by the roots, because I was thinking the same thing as well. There was just so much of it that we couldn't physically keep up, and it got so big so fast, that now it is just too big to pull up, so I have resorted to using the pruners on it. I was trying to get to it before it went to seed. That didn't happen :rolleyes:!!
I just got off the phone with the local health food store and they suggested going to the farmers market and talking to some people there. There seems to be a market for a lot of Thai type stuff.
Dept. of Conservation wasn't much help :(. "Round Up" was what they suggested, just not really an option. I would have to relocate my goaties, not to mention my other critters! We are pretty much an organic operation here and I would really like to keep it that way :D.
In my perfect little world there would be some kind of livestock that would just love to eat this stuff up :p, and would get along with my goats, of course!!
 

·
Goatless goat momma
Joined
·
7,887 Posts
my bf calls it weed guard...not sure if that's a technical name or not. but basically a plastic sheeting that goes over plants to suffocate them. but, if it's part of the mint family....the unfortunate thing is you'll have to dig it up.

another thing he does to control weeds on our gravel driveway and brick paved patio is toss rock salt on weeds. some grow right back, but it slows growth. we also get a lot of rain, and we don't want plants growing in those areas, so salt works great for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
If you have any spare cash you might hire some teenagers or pre-teens to pull for you. We did that last year and it worked well. I'd say $50 for a half a day, or whatever is appropriate in your area, a bonus for the biggest pile pulled, burgers on the grill, or pizza, with a bon fire to follow. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, okay I think I know what you're talking about. You can use it in gardens and stuff [the weed guard, that is]?
The rock salt suggestion sounds like something I need to remember.
I know how regular mint does, so I'm sure you're right, we need to get it up by the roots :wallbang:!!
Sheesh, I knew it wouldn't be easy, nothing ever is in my world! :GAAH:
 

·
Boer Lover 4 Life!
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
Unforunately, we don't have any Asian markets here, but we do have a health food store which sells ethnic foods. Good suggestion, nchen7. I think I will call them today :D!!

Also, we have actually considered whatever we can't cut down by fall, we will just try and do a 'controlled burn' on this winter. We did burn what little we had last year. [It is a very volatile plant, by the way. It must be the mint properties in the plant.] Obviously, it still came back with a vengance this year :mad:.
Apparently, this plant retaliates. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Apparently, this plant retaliates. lol
YES IT DOES!!!

GoatieGranny: I like your suggestion :D!! Ironically my duaghter suggested we have a "beefsteak pulling party :party:", invite all our friends for plant pulling and BBQ, [and with our friends of course 'beverages' :cheers:would be mandatory as well ;)]. The thing with that suggestion is we'd all end up in the pasture standing around talking about the situation while we're enjoying our 'beverages' and BBQ :wahoo:. I know my friends... :eyeroll:!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
possibly pay someone to shred/mow as short as possible...then have it raked and removed (or sucked up with a leaf vacuum?).

After that, have it deeply disc'd several time to expose the roots...then "rake or sift section by section.

Doing by hand would be so back-breaking. Using machinery first (mow/collect/disc), and then having a "raking party-bonfire" ?? If you do it in late Fall, maybe less chance of it re-establishing before winter.

then, come Spring, walk thru the pasture with a wheelbarrow and a step-in weeder to bring them up by the roots before they spread too much. Keep those patces mowed clear down to the dirt for a few years...and plant maybe winter grains/grasses over it ??

Can you change the Ph balance of the soil to the point the plant just can't thrive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Trying to find someone with equipment might get kind of expensive, and money is in short supply right now.
I know it's back breaking work already feeling the pain from what little we have done, but the price is right.
What is a "step-in weeder"?
Hmmmmm, changing the PH balance...food for thought.
The tricky thing is I have to be very careful what I do here because this is the pasture my goats are in, and I don't have another pasture to relocate them. So whatever a do has to be a goat-friendly sloution.
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,956 Posts
WOW that is some serious infestation! I think its past the point of pulling and cutting. I think you need to put a chemical on it. You would have to lock up the goaties for a couple of days that for sure but it looks like if you dont take a stand now, you will be over your head in it next year... literally.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,847 Posts
The only problem is that you would have to do a serious kill on everything with chemical since the root system is so good.

I have been removing ground cover in my flowerbeds and the root system on stuff like that is incredible and you have to get as much of the root as possible. Then as soon as stuff comes up, get it out with the root to keep on top of it.

I have also been working on removing roots for trumpet vine (a very old trumpet vine). That is even worse. I can't even dig out all the roots. It has literally gone through the yard and we are talking about a good acre of land. So my fight against that will be pretty much forever. At least we can mow over most of it but it is showing up in a couple of flowerbeds and the roots are too deep to totally dig out.

Eventually it will go away but until then, the back breaking chore of digging up root. I just don't see any way around it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
the step in weeder would be any long handled tool that you can put your weight on with a foot...like you do with a shovel.
But it has an end either like a blade, or sometimes a giant tap-root-fork type digger.

You could arm everyone with old knives...steak knives, etc...have them keep sawing away below the soil level and pulling up.

I think if it were me, and I would consider trying the PH thing---I'd put my goats up for a week while doing it.
I'd call the ag-extension office and ask them for a soil sample (or buy a $4 a test kit at Home D'Pot). Finding out what the PH is where it sits right now...would tell you which end of the spectrum to go to. Ask the AgXt- office what type of soil mint plants grow best in. Then go the extreme opposite.

If it were me :)....I'd apply whatever liquid Ph'r I could so it'd soak in right away and I then wouldn't worry about my goats finding pellets or powder (or my chickens).

Try it on a small patch first...that you can keep the goats away from...and see how it does. (Like a 4x4 spot?). If it works...go after the whole patch.

Money is tight here too...so I do a lot of trade.
You could always trade for the shredder. Renting a Billy Goat is about $100 a weekend. ( it's one of those shredder/brush hogs that mows like a push mower). Appropriately they call it a Billy goat. And usually when they rent one...the trailer comes with it.

HINT-- rent it on a Satruday a.m. because Sundays they are closed and you get an extra day (usually free).
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top