Very bad weed! Hundreds of these young burdock plants have appeared in the pasture, the gardens, in full sun and shade. Sure, they look innocent now. And yes, I know the mature roots are edible and even useful in therapeutic preparations. (More about that another day…)
It’s the burrs that cause the problems. They’re often called cockleburrs, though that’s not correct. The cockleburr comes from a different plant, though the burrs are about the same size and cause as much trouble. Last fall I spent hours untangling the burdock variety of burr trouble from the dogs’ coats. The goats’ beards turned into tangled, matted messes in one afternoon of grazing, so I took the easy way out and cut their beards off. The sheep? Well…that was just sad…they’d have been embarrassed if they’d been allowed mirrors.
Thanks for giving a name to a weed that I absolutely despise. You’re right–it’s everywhere! And oh, yes, the poor sheep who mess with it. No mirrors in our barn. : )
What can be done? My horses brought the burrs in on their manes. I have the plants growing behind the barn. Roundup wouldn’t touch them. Digging with a mattock is hard especially after they start to bolt and their stems get woody. Last year, I decided to wait till they bloomed and cut off the plants and burn them. I thought this would eventually take care of the problem, as I understood they were biennial. Maybe not? However, I just went out to do the job this year, and found I was cutting sprouts on the stumps from last year in many cases. My husband says 2-4D is the answer. We have another infestation at the back of our property where cattle have probably been lying under the shade and dropping the seeds.