Which is best for weeding garden, sheep or goats?

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The problem: My garden has been invaded by a tough grass which spreads via underground runners which defy burning, mulching and pulling. I believe that either goats or sheep may be the answer. I can let one acre of the garden go dormant for use by sheep/goats while I use the other acre for crops. I have no experience with either sheep or goats and need some input from those who do. We live in North/Central Florida and that may affect your advice (heat, pests, etc.) Thanks for your help.

-- John James (jjames@n-jcenter.com), August 07, 2001


Don't know if this will help but based on our experience our sheep cropped the grass shorter than the goats. Our goats are much better on weed and brush control. We live "up north" so herd/flock management may be different. I'll leave that to someone more in your climate range to answer.

-- Nancy Bakke-McGonigle MN. Sunset (dmcgonig@smig.net), August 07, 2001.

As this grass of yours spreads by underground rhizomes, you may want to consider penning a couple of feeder pigs in the area for awhile. Guaranteed there won't be a root left and you'll be able to pick up any and all stones in the area off the top of the ground as they'll plow it with their noses.

-- Sandra Nelson (Magin@starband.net), August 07, 2001.

My vote is for the pigs also. They will have that area plowed up in no time.

-- sm4farm (dshans@hotmail.com), August 07, 2001.

Yep -- pigs are great little rooters! They would do a much better job than sheep or goats. And they taste better, too! :-)

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), August 07, 2001.

I like the pig idea also. If you are not organic, you may want to consider Round Up. Works quickly and very well.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), August 07, 2001.

YES PIGS!!! If you don't want to use them, water the area deeply,then cover with clear plastic and leave on for whole summer. This will cook those roots! I know it's a large area, but a little at a time, it could be done and at least it's organic. Pigs would be the ticket though if you want to go that route. Good Luck! I have the same stuff here at my place.

-- T. Dolittle (dolittle@starband.net), August 07, 2001.

My vote is for pigs too. If thats unacceptable, what about a couple of geese in a portable pen or free ranging the area?? Geese and ducks are pretty good weeders.

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), August 08, 2001.

Sheesh, I feel like I'm sticking my nose in all these threads, but this one I DEFinitely coulnd't resist! (wait! that's what I said about the last one1)

Anyway, folks, what about chickens?! Isn't that the whole philosophy behind teh chicken tractors? That's MY philosophy behind chicken tractors, LOL . . .not having to weed! I have 2 of them that are just wide enough to fit in between my rows. I put 3 or 4 chickens in there, get them started by sprinkling some grain in there to get them scratching & away they go.

Oh yeah . . . & a word to the wise: if it's really hot, don't put chickens in chicken tractors . . . no one ever accused them of being smart enough to stay in the shaded side, out of the sun, so they didn't die of heat stroke.

Regards, Sarah/MI Lazy Gardener Extraordinaire

-- Sarah Sanders/MI (chilechile@hotmail.com), August 12, 2001.

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