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Thread: ragwort so just pull it or what?

  1. #1

    ragwort so just pull it or what?

    I spent a lot of time pulling up ragwort last week to get it before it seeds and I was looking for experience you guys have on dealing with it. I imagine it's a case of keeping at it yearly to prevent it becoming thick on the ground?

    Or is it a case that that it's appeared so i'm stuck with it whatever is done?

  2. #2
    Can't help much Paul believe its dangerous to horses, my only experience of its being paid two and sixpence an hour [twelve and a half pence] to dig it out of horse paddocks, mind you that was not bad money for a thirteen year old at that time.

  3. #3
    Were i live a firm comes round the area to pull it up trying to keep it under control, they work with RSPB. I am not that clued up on it but i do know that you should never touch it with bare hand. When i was in the building trade i was a ground worker and when ever we came across Ragwort or Knotweed the Councill ensisted that we excuvated 1 metre deep below the roots and 1 metre all way round it. Then it had to go to a registered contracter to dispose. We probaly sent away in the region of 80 tonnes inc the earth of couse and tghat cost a 4 figure some.

  4. #4
    I think the flowering spike is the plant in it's second year, at this stage it is best dug up and removed to prevent seeding and spread. Earlier in the season say about may/june it is in the rosette stage it can still be dug out but if kit available you can spray via tractor or quad mounted gear which would then leave the inaccessable areas to be pulled by hand . There is a rag fork on the market which is pretty good.

  5. #5
    My girlfriend and I have spent the last few years pulling up ragwort from her horses field. You need to dig it up, get all the root. It really is painstaking work. But after a few years now we are seeing an improvement. You just have to stick with it.

  6. #6

  7. #7


    Keep pulling it. Grazing sheep would help as they will eat the plant when it is young ( rosette stage) This year seems really bad for it you only have to look on the road verges . It seams that the council now longer controll it on the road sides so it will only get worse !

  8. #8
    Some years ago I was on holiday in the Italian Alps and I was out on foot on a photo shoot trying to get pictures of the Ibex in the area.
    High up I came upon a small field which contained 3 horses with virtually no grass there.
    The field had a lot of Ragwort but the horses were ignoring it and trying to get a few bites from over the fence.
    There was a profusion of grass on both sides of the track but hardly any in that field. I was tempted to let them out for a fresh bite but I contained myself.
    Those horse seemed to know that it would be harmful to them.
    I believe it used to be classed as an `obnoxious weed` here and was the duty of councils to attempt to get rid of it on roadsides etc. as there is little point in a farmer keeping his land clean and having many thousands of airborne seeds landing there.

    My grandfather used to say `one years seeds are ten years weeds`.


  9. #9
    The local council/highways workers go round pulling ragwort every year from the verges. I used to have to do it some years back when working on Council Refuse Sites. It was then bagged and buried with the household refuse.
    I believe that it becomes a real danger to horses when cut and accidently mixed in with hay.

  10. #10
    Ragwort becomes a threat to animals when it wilts. There was an eradication programme here a few years back when council workmen cleared roadside verges, with cuts in council spending they no longer do it.
    I think its a lost cause now. You can get a spray which will clear it in two years, it's a biennial/perrenial. The problem is that it seeds prolifically and spreads miles from verges, waste ground etc: All in all a real pain

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