En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - March 17, 2009

From: Ramsey, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Getting rid of sandburs in horse pasture in Minnesota
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do I get rid of sandburs in my horse pasture?

ANSWER:

Lest you think you are the only one blessed with this noxious weed, please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer.  You didn't say what was in your horse pasture, but we are assuming it is grass of some sort. The problem with any kind of chemical control is that Cenchrus spinifex (coastal sandbur) is also a grass, member of the family Poaceae; something that kills the sandbur will also kill the surrounding grass. 

Actually, the sandbur species mentioned above is more a product of the Southern United States; it is  likely that what you have in Minnesota is Cenchrus longispinus (did you ever hear a more appropriate plant name?). This University of Minnesota Extension website Sandburs by Deborah L. Brown discusses this plant in Minnesota.

Frequently, when we tackle the treatment of weedy invasive plant, about the only advice we can give is to pull it out. We realize this is probably a big task in a horse pasture. One suggestion that we noted was that the sandbur tended to take hold in disturbed, poor soil, and that enriching the grasses you wanted to stay could discourage the survival of the weeds. Learn to recognize it when it has not yet produced the burs, or seeds, so you can pull it out as the opportunity arises and prevent the next generation, at least of that one plant. Sandburs are definitely survivors, with their seeds adapted to cling to clothing, fur, shoes and skin!  Extra nourishment, high nitrogen fertilizers, and perhaps more moisture can help to enrich the good grasses and crowd out the bad ones.


Cenchrus spinifex

Cenchrus spinifex

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Dead-appearing Royal Paulownia trees in Manteno, IL
May 02, 2009 - Have two Royal Paulownia trees two years old.Last fall all leaves fell off. Have two eight foot toothpicks. This spring, nothing happening.Are they dead or will they come back? If they come back what ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Will non-native and invasive Mexican petunias grow under oak trees from St. Augustine FL
March 24, 2013 - Will Mexican Petunias grow under an Oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
December 11, 2010 - I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
view the full question and answer

Kudzu for Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 27, 2010 - I just inherited a piece of land and am very much interested in starting some kind of homeopathic herbs. Can you tell me about Kudzu and where I can purchase some of these seeds?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center