Your guide to sustainable horsekeeping

The Green Horse section provides practical information on managing environmentally sustainable horse properties, readers stories and tips, as well as advice and articles from equestrian experts in their fields.

August/September 21
Vol 43 No 2

In this issue of The Green Horse you will find the following articles

Beating the Bindii
by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest
Soliva sessilis, commonly called bindii, JoJo weed, onehunga and lawnweed, is a small weed that has a huge impact once established and produces its tiny, sharp-needled seed.


Let's Talk about Fencing
by Liz Tollarzo
An introduction to fencing and consderations for property owners to look at prior to making the final decisions on where to place their fencing. Part 1 of a Fencing series.


Tackling the Blackberry
While the fruit may be delicious the Blackberry is listed as a Weed of
National Significance and now covers nearly nine million hectares. They form dense thickets that exclude native species, harbor pests like foxes and rabbits, and their thickets limit access to land for people and animals.

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PREVIOUS ARTICLES
Available on line

June July 21
BARN OWLS by Wendy Elks
A silent partner in rodent control.
Non-toxic pest management is the most humane and ecologically sustainable way of bringing nature back into some kind of balance during non-plague times.

April/May 21
LOVELY LAWNS
by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest
On a horse property there always seems to be hectares of grass, but we all have that little bit of lawn we want to look luscious all year round.
It could be the entrance to the stables, laneways bordering the driveway, that little ‘special’ snack paddock or you could even dream of a beautiful green arena.
So, how do we achieve this?

Feb/March 21
STABLE DANGERS
by Elizabeth Tollarzo
They say that horses are accidents-waiting-to-happen as they are inclined to find every conceivable way to injur themselves, usually just before a competition. Being aware of potential dangers in the stable - and addressing these - may help aleiviate injury.

Dec/Jan 20/21
HORSES AND HONEY BEES-
Can they share space on the property?
by Wendy Elks

Oct/Nov 20
SOLAR-POWERED PRODUCTS
by Celine Bønnelykke
In previous issues we have discussed the economics of setting up a solar-driven property, but if finances don’t stretch to installation of the whole package, there are ways to ease into the solar-world.

Aug/Sept 20 THE HIDDEN DANGERS IN OUR PADDOCK.
by Elizabeth Tollarzo
Horses love to run, play, buck and then run again and we often, through lack of risk assessment or management practices, place them in areas that are fraught with dangers.

JUNE JULY 20 GOING SOLAR ON THE HORSE PROPERTY Where to put your panels Part 2
Once you have selected what solar system best suits your needs, then you need to look at how you can maximise the advantages.

APRIL MAY 20 GOING SOLAR ON THE HORSE PROPERTY Part 2
Once you have selected what solar system best suits your needs, then you need to look at how you can maximise the advantages.

FEB/MARCH 20 ANTS AWAY
by Mark Brown Envirapest
So, what can you do to deter ants from your house and your stables??


DJ19/20 KEEPING SNAKES OUT OF THE STABLE by Wendy Elks
Snakes may be protected under Wildlife regulations in Australia, and they may be great for keeping the mice and rats down, but do we want to find them in our stables near our horses and pets?

ON19 - TERMITES- common myths
by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest
Your house and stables are looking wonderful this spring, but do you know what is happening inside the walls of your brick or timber building?

AS19 - OUCH THAT HURTS
by Catherine Bird for Country Park Saddlery
The extent of the swelling is usually an indication of the severity of the infection or injury and the cause needs to be established before giving herbs.

JJ19 - MANAGING PASTURE
by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest Healthy pasture means healthy horses.

A/M19 - STOP THOSE WEEDS
Property biosecurity
by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest
Putting simple precautionary steps into place can make it tough for weeds to get a hold on your equine paradise.

 

 










The prickly weeds that grow on our properties across Australia usually have long classical Latin names, are often known by a variety of common names in different localities but are regularly called very rude names when we happen to stand on one (or a dozen) or when they find our hands as we are dislodging tangles in the horse’s mane or tail.


One of the most painful experiences is meeting the seedpods of Soliva sessilis, commonly called bindii, JoJo weed, onehunga and lawnweed, which is known for its tiny sharp-needled seeds.

Dogs, cats and children quickly learn what areas of the lawn or paddock have patches of this weed growing and avoid it. If bandages, boots, rugs or saddle blankets come in contact with the seed, once it has dried, then you will be forever removing these.

The plant appears with small, feathery leaves reminiscent of carrot leaves, with an exposed upward-pointing rosette of seeds in a pod nestled at the branch junctions.

The scourge of many Aussie backyards and horse properties, it is a winter annual weed – this means that it germinates, grows, seeds and dies all within the year. Then it does it all again the next year. The particularly tricky thing when dealing with bindii is that it doesn’t start to become really visible (or have any prickles) until late in its life cycle – when it is almost too late to treat. Because of the way it grows - in a low, creeping, mat-like structure- it can almost be impossible to hand-weed. Its presence is often hidden by other ‘taller’ turf species – until it is too late.

These should not be confused with the doublegee (Emex australis), which is often also called bindii but has a seed that has three large spikes that can penetrate your thongs.
How do we beat the bindii?

The most important thing with bindii control is to know your enemy Once the plant becomes established it begins to grow the seed heads. The tiny seed capsule is covered in tiny spines. These seed heads are normally really small (match head size) and inconspicuous until later in the season - when they harden and turn a darker brown colour – and turn into those horrible prickles! They are designed to stick in fur, stick in feet, shoes, horse blankets – because that is how the plant thrives, transports itself and spreads itself around.

So what can you do?

Aside from hand-weeding (which requires gloves) you really need to be applying a broadleaf herbicide – BEFORE you have the prickles.

When the plants are young and actively growing – before they go to seed. Spring is generally too late. You really want to try and tackle this problem head on in June to early September, depending on what the seasons are like where you live. Make yourself familiar with what the young plant looks like so you can hit it early and get on top of it.

The biggest secret to getting bindii out of your lawn and paddocks is to get it early. Like, really early – before those seeds start to harden. If you already have prickles in your lawn this year – you have lost the battle. The plants have already seeded, and no amount of herbicide or hand-weeding will get rid of those prickles. You need to regroup and try again next year.

Be prepared to treat for bindii for at least a few years in a row - those seeds can last years in the soil. If you have prickles in the lawn and you are too late, you can try to keep the lawn short, mow regularly to minimise the seed spread, and get a plan for next year.

And don’t forget – if you know you have bindii in one area of the property that you have mowed – wash the mower before you go to a bindii-free area. It can be a long battle with this weed – but the results will show if you put in the effort at the right time.

 

 


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