Capeweed is a notorious weed that invades pastures and lawns. It spreads quite aggressively as it produces thousands of seeds which get settled in the soil.
It is harmful not only to your lawns but also to animals that depend on pastures for their food. That’s why it becomes crucial to identify them as early as possible and get rid of the weeds.
Capeweed is an annual. These weeds became quite invasive, especially in parts of California.
It’s good for the soil and good for the people who eat those vegetables. So how do we control these nasty weeds naturally?
How to get rid of Capeweed naturally?
You can spray white vinegar and boiling water on Capeweed to hinder its growth.
1. Will Straight Vinegar Kill Capeweed?
White vinegar is another way to get rid of those pesky weeds without using herbicides. The best way to use it seems to be by adding salt to it.
Use Vinegar with an acetic acid concentration of 5% or above for the best results. White Vinegar has a similar concentration of acetic acid.
A 1:1 solution of Vinegar in water can be used to get rid of Capeweed effectively. You can dilute it further if you want to protect the surrounding plants.
I’d not use vinegar and salt mixture to kill Capeweed in the garden. You may use it if you have the weeds in your pasture.
2. Boiling water to kill Capeweed
Boiling water is quite useful to kill weeds as it is a completely natural way. Heat some boiling water and transfer it to a tea kettle with a spout and handle.
Now you can spot-treat the capeweed with boiling water without spilling any on the surrounding plants. Pour the scalding water directly on capeweed patches.
The boiling water destroys plant tissue and causes the weeds to wilt and die. Do this several times to kill the Capeweed patches completely.
Make sure you cover your body well before doing this. Wear some gloves and boots.
3. Pluck weeds out by hand
Pluck Capeweed out by hand as soon as you see it in the lawn to prevent further growth of the weed.
This is an underrated technique of weed control, but it works well if there is a weed problem in your garden. Pluck them out before they even flower.
It becomes easier to pluck ’em out if you loosen the soil with a fork or water the patch a day before.
You can get rid of Capeweed in the lawn using the ‘Soil Solarization’ method.
You need to pack the patch of capeweed using a polyethylene landscape fabric. You’ll let the sun do the magic. The heat kills the weeds beneath the fabric.
Don’t use the Solarization technique extensively as it can kill beneficial micro-organisms too.
Remove rocks, weeds, or any other debris from the target area. Water the area thoroughly so it reaches up to a depth of 6 inches below the surface. Water helps conduct heat better.
Picture this: you lay down transparent polyethylene landscape fabric over your soil during the hottest months of the year. As the sun beats down, the soil underneath transforms into a natural oven, creating a hostile environment for soilborne pests.
5. Do Chickens eat Capeweed?
Yes, Chickens eat Capeweed. Chickens can help you keep the lawn free of Capeweed.
I have 20 chickens in my garden, they roam the garden for a while every day.
There’s a patch of capeweed in my garden that’s visited by the hens once a day. They’ve been munching on the weed for ages now, they are completely fine. They clear the weed for me.
Herbicides should be your last resort when trying to eliminate weeds in your garden.
Will Roundup kill Capeweed?
Yes. Two variants of Roundup can kill the capeweed efficiently. Let’s look at the spot-spray application of Roundup. It is best used near waterways that are beside pastures.
Roundup Biactive™ (360 g/L) works if used in the right proportion i.e. 75-100 ml/15L.
Spray more on weeds that are over 15cm in height or diameter. The capeweed will be killed in 3-7 days.
Use Roundup PowerMax® (540 g/L) in 50-70 ml/15L proportions. If it is the (360 g/L) variety, then use it in 75-100 ml/15L proportion.
Spraying instructions are the same as the Biactive™ and you’ll see desired results in 3-7 days.
Roundup is a non-selective herbicide and will damage any plants around this weed. So, it is advisable not to use this in gardens, only in pastures.
Does Weed ‘n’ Feed® kill Capeweed?
Yes, Feed n Weed is popularly used to get rid of Capeweed.
This herbicide comes premixed. Do not mow or fertilize for at least 7 days after spraying this. Complete eradication may take up to 3 weeks or more.
Best Selective Herbicide for Capeweed
Roundup is a non-selective herbicide and you might not want to use this in the garden.
Let’s look at a selective herbicide for your lawn and garden.
Selective herbicide for Lawn
The following herbicides will kill capeweed but leave the surrounding plants unaffected.
The best time to spray is autumn and spring when the grass and weeds are actively growing.
Selective Herbicide for Garden
Selective herbicides are super useful for gardeners. They are like assassins paid to kill the weeds, just the weeds!
Weed weapon rapid action is a selective herbicide that acts on capeweed alone.
It is quite useful as it acts well on the broadleaf weed but becomes inactive in the soil. Spray it in autumn and spring when the capeweed is quite active.
When should you spray Capeweed?
The best time of the year to apply Herbicides to Capeweed is September to November. The best time to spray them to death is early autumn.
They can be sprayed anytime though. You wouldn’t want these weeds to flower and throw thousands of seeds around.
It’s no point spraying the weeds once they flower as they die soon anyway and before dying they release thousands of seeds into the soil.
Spray herbicides only when there’s no rain forecasted in the 24-48 hours.
Rain might wash away the herbicide and our efforts go in vain. broadleaf herbicide capeweed, when the weeds just started growing.
How to prevent a Capeweed invasion?
I always advise preventing weed growth rather than spraying them with chemicals. These chemicals hurt the soil.
1. Early Detection is Key: Keep a vigilant eye on your garden, especially during the spring and early summer months when Capeweed tends to germinate. Identifying it in its early stages makes eradication much easier.
2. Regular Weeding: Make weeding a part of your routine. Hand-pull Capeweed when you spot it, making sure to remove the entire plant, including its roots. Dispose of it far from your garden to prevent reseeding.
3. Mulch Your Beds: Apply a thick layer of organic mulch to your garden beds. This helps to suppress Capeweed growth by blocking sunlight and preventing its seeds from reaching the soil.
4. Promote Healthy Soil: Healthy soil is less conducive to Capeweed growth. Regularly amend your soil with organic matter and maintain proper pH levels to keep it in top condition.
5. Adequate Spacing: Ensure that your plants are adequately spaced. Crowded plantings create an ideal environment for Capeweed to thrive, so give your greenery some breathing room.
6. Water Wisely: Water your garden at the base of your plants, rather than using overhead watering. This reduces the chances of Capeweed seeds germinating.
7. Avoid Disturbance: Capeweed seeds can lay dormant for years. Avoid disturbing the soil unnecessarily, as this can bring buried seeds to the surface where they can germinate.
8. Chemical Control (as a Last Resort): If your Capeweed problem becomes severe, consider using herbicides as a last resort. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and exercise caution when using chemicals.
9. Prevent Reinfestation: After successfully preventing Capeweed, remain vigilant. Continue to practice these preventive measures to ensure it doesn’t return.
I wish you a weed-free garden : )