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how does Roundup work?

First, let me say I DON"T use roundup on my garden! But I do have a questiion about it and other herbicides--

I read in my biochem book awhile back that some herbicides work by in interfering with the photosynthesis of a plant. If this is so, it would seem that if you removed the dead plant, that would end any problem with the chemical staying in the soil. or is the problem with all the mystery ingredients in stuff like that?
I would LOVE to find a way to get rid of the bull nettle that grows all over our property. it's controllable (by yanking it out) in flowerbeds and gardens but is a pain out in the yard and pasture.
 
Good Luck on this question as I am the Roundup Pro hahahahah!!! I guess you can spray white vinegar on the weeds, but I'll be quiet and leave this one to the pro's lol and have a great day.
Dave
 
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Roundup inhibits an enzyme called ESPS synthase. Without that enzyme, plants are unable to produce other proteins needed. However, when you spray, you seldom spray just the plant, and the plant seldom absorbs all the roundup, so it inevitably enters the soil, where it breaks down and kills the beneficial fungi and bacteria in the soil, and is also broken down by them. If your soil is lacking in that micorrhizol web, then the roundup is likely to either remain in the soil, reducing nitrogen fixation for a long time, or will enter the watershed. If you have labored to create a web of beneficial fungi and bacteria in your soil, then you will be defeating your purpose by using roundup, or any other glyphosate weed killer.

Have you tried to use smothering cover crops to get rid of bull nettle? Since the plant prefers dry sandy soil, making the soil wet and humus rich should reduce the population, if at all possible. Plant and mow without tilling several cover crops in a row, and it should help get rid of the stuff...
 
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If I had nettles I'd eat them. Cooked, of course, because they are one of the most nutritious greens.
My question to you is: Do you desperately need to use the pasture? Why can't you just cut those nettles down and at least use them in your compost? Why do you need to exterminate them? Would a hefty, heavy duty mower do a good enough job for you?
If you managed to "control" a bit the spreading of the nettles, you could turn them into a wonderful, continuous source of minerals for your veggies just by adding them to your compost.

Gardpro zone 5b
 
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Bull nettles are a type of spurge, and I don't think they are edible, though I could be wrong. They irritate the skin and if you are susceptible to them, they can cause a very painful rash just to brush by them. The seeds are supposedly edible, but getting to them without suffering a nasty painful rash is difficult to say the least.

Bull Thistle is something else entirely...which did you have? Bull Thistle or nettle? And to top it off, there is a solanum that is often referred to as Bull nettle, too...but though it is prickly, it isn't poisonous or nearly as nasty as the Cnidoscolus stimulosis, which is the Texas Bull Nettle...
 
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Go to these sites:

http://pages.prodigy.net/jospencer/bull-Nettle.htm

http://www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/plant31.htm

and check the pictures. They are two different types of plants, and only you can tell which one is yours.
In either case they are both edible.

Gardpro zone 5b
 
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Not very well. The USDA reports that usage is on the increase and research from Iowa State University indicates that is because the "weeds" have the gene that makes them resistant to the stuff. USDA reports for 2002 show sales, to farms, of glysophate and other weeds control products was higher than before the stuff was in production with fewer farms to use it.
 
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gardpro? Is the bull nettle edible or just the seeds? I always figured if it gave me a nasty rash just to touch it I shouldn't eat it...or is there a way to cook out the toxic stuff so it won't cause problems?
 
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To brennewoman: I can't answer you question because if you look at the links I posted in my answer, two kinds of plants are knows as "BULL NETTLE". I personally know only the leafy kind (Urtica), and I know for sure that it is edible, while the other kind appears to have only edible seeds, but I never tried that one.

Gardpro
 
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the problem is not just the pasture--but the yard and everywhere that the bull nettle has spread to. we're talking 25 acres--more than can be handled with even a riding lawn mower. the tractor doesn't mow close enough to do any good, since I have seen this stuff just grow closer to the ground when mowed (in the yard).

I think the cover crop idea is a good one but I'm not sure what to plant--i am in north texas, with pretty heavy clay soil and LOTS of rocks--so normal planting with any kind of machinery is difficult, since it will break on the rocks.

I wonder if I could borrow some goats! if I could figure out a way to keep them in a confined area till they ate it down, that would work....do goats like that sort of stuff?

thanks everyone for your replies
 
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hmm, neither one looks like 'my' nettle. guess a call to the ag extension service is in order.

i can't imagine eating those at any rate--they cause enough problems on the OUTSIDE! i did try to grind some up and use them as a toxic tea against grasshoppers one year--apparently grasshoppers don't mind this stuff at all.

I read that one of the compounds that provides the 'sting' is formic acid, which ants also have in their venom--which certainly explains why the stings feel very similar at first!
 
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