Common Types of Weeds in Horse Pastures

From winter and summer annuals to perennials and biennials, learn how to prevent and manage pasture weeds.
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Common Types of Weeds in Horse Pastures
Shepherd’s purse is an example of a winter annual. You can best control them by mowing before they set hard seed in the spring. | Photo: iStock

When it comes to controlling weeds in horse pastures, identifying the type and knowing how to combat it are key to success. You must take control measures at the appropriate time in the plant’s growth cycle. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, effort, and money.

Andy Kness, MSc, agriculture educator for Harford County, Maryland, described common weed categories (particularly in the mid-Atlantic region) and how to manage them during the University of Maryland Extension’s healthy horse-keeping webinar series.

Winter Annuals

Winter annuals germinate in the fall, overwinter (go dormant), then flower the following spring, dropping seed and repeating the cycle. You can best control them by mowing before they set hard seed in the spring. Apply chemical controls (e.g., herbicides) in fall or early spring

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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