What? I’m killing plants? Settle down, nature lovers. I need to safely get rid of a plant that’s dangerous for the horses in the areas that are going to be dry, and I need to remove some snake habitat near the chickens.
The beautiful local nightshade, the silver leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is everywhere this time of year. It has pretty purple flowers and cool tomato-like but inedible fruit.
It’s hard to pull it up, because of the thorns all over the leaves and stems, but I need to make the area where Apache will be staying safe for him. In a pasture, there’s plenty of other grass, so it’s no big deal. But, in the “dry lot” or pen, where were now putting him in afternoons, he’d eat it.
So, I was given a big sprayer with a mixture of white vinegar, salt, and Dawn dish detergent in it. This is bad for plants, but not toxic for animals. I sprayed around the chicken coop first. They thought it was treat time, because the spray made all the grasshoppers jump off the plants and into the pen.
I then sprayed under the roof where the stalls will be, and got most of the rock pile sprayed (the rocks are leftover limestone bricks from building our house).
When I walked out this morning, all the forbs looked really sad, including the nightshade. The grass looked parched, but not awful. I may have to spray it again, when we get more ingredients.
So, it looks like we will ditch the commercial herbicides and use this method to clean up around our property and keep all our animals safe and happy.
We still have PLENTY of grass.