Common Chickweed An Issue In Leon County Paddocks
Extension Agent - Sustainable Agriculture
Issue/Alert Affecting Crop: The owner of a local equestrian facility writes the following: I have a problem with common chickweed in Leon County. Is it sensitive to the walking and grazing of the horses? I read this weed likes the cooler temperatures and could germinate in temps between 2 – 30 degrees F. Will it then die come summer on its own? If I can get away with it, I’d like to wait to treat the pastures as long as possible. Since it is growing slowly, can I wait and do a weed and feed come spring (March or April), and what do you recommend to kill it?
Common Chickweed is considered an undesirable weed in pastures and paddocks.
What Does The Specialist Say: Chickweed is a common winter species. Unlike most weeds, chickweed actually has a relatively high forage quality. It is very low growing and often doesn't produce a significant amount of biomass, so animals are not often seen grazing chickweed. If chickweed is the only species present, I would not recommend controlling it unless the population is very high. If so, 1 qt of GrazonNext would be highly effective. I would wait until late winter to decide if treatment is necessary, possibly so that fertilizer and herbicide application can be made in one pass. Jason Ferrell, Ph.D. UF\IFAS Extension Weed Specialist