Saturday, September 22, 2012

Goat Patrol Cleans Up Invasives

Speaking of kudzu and its local imitator (see previous post), I witnessed a novel approach to controlling invasives during a recent visit to Durham, NC. A friend has gone into the goat business, herding them into a small trailer for a ride to clients' backyards and parks beleaguered by an onslaught of invasive plants. Across the street from the baseball stadium made famous by the movie Bull Durham, the city's Central Park has a ravine filled with kudzu.
Installing the temporary fence is the hardest part for these modern day goat herders, and it's sometimes necessary to remove plants that could prove toxic to the goats, such as pokeweed.

The goats cleared this bank the previous day. They do their job well, but now the question is what to plant, and how to keep the kudzu from growing back.


  1. we ran into some goats at a NJ WMA a few years ago (Black River) ..they were half hidden munching and we did not know what they were at first. It was confirmed to us that they were "landscaping."

    Just a Q- I found a Bellamcanda in my yard recently. Now blooming. I did not plant it. Is it invasive?

  2. Interesting about Belamcanda chinensis, the blackberry lily. A friend in Michigan was recently given one to plant, with word that it might be native. It's not. Though it has naturalized in the eastern U.S., I don't see it on any lists of invasives. Lists, though, tend to add plants only after they've become so numerous in the wild that control is problematic. It's a very unusual plant, sounds like it has berries that could be spread by birds. I can't make any definitive recommendation on whether to remove it or not. Letting the berries ripen is not a good idea. If it showed up in your yard, you could keep an eye out for nearby populations.

    Here are some links: