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The ultimate control against the Ragwort
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- The benefits
- Practical tips
- New improved version!
- Our own experience
What is it?
You are probably aware of the dangers of the Ragwort. (If not, take a look at the page about (*ragworth) ) It is a plant that you definitely do not want in your pasture, but if you have it in your pasture then you know how difficult Ragwort can be removed. The plant is virtually immune to poison, frequent enough mowing is hardly an option, so manual removal is actually the only option.
However, the plant is very firmly attached to the ground, and if you pull too hard, the stem breaks off and the roots remain, so that the plant is back again. The fight against the poisonous ragwort drives meadow managers to despair.
Fortunately, there is now a practical solution: the Rag fork!
The Rag fork has been specially developed to remove Ragwort easily, quickly, effectively and permanently, including the roots. No more dragging, no more stems that break off, no more roots that remain and ensure the return of the yellow assassin. The Rag fork was developed in England, where they have been struggling with Ragwort for some time. (In England this herb is called Ragwort, hence the name Rag-fork.)
Although the Rag-fork has been specially developed to combat Ragwort, it has also been found to be very effective at removing other weeds. We also use it with great success and pleasure to harvest sorrel and thistles.
How does it work?
The Rag fork is an ingenious design. The three tines are at just the right distance to minimize damage to the roots while providing enough upward force to pop the plant out of the ground. The footrest allows you to push it effortlessly into most soil types, and the bracket at the back provides leverage when you tilt the stem back and the plant emerges from the ground without any effort. The gap that remains is surprisingly small; this is because the Rag fork pushes up the roots but not the soil.
This is how you use the Rag fork:
- Stick the Rag fork on the ground just in front of the plant
- Press it down with your foot
- Tilt the Rag fork backwards
- Turn the Rag fork to the left or right if necessary Pick up the plant
The benefits of the Rag fork are:
- Environmentally friendly. The Rag-fork does not burden the environment with toxins and does not affect soil life.
- Light weight. The Rag fork is lightweight and has nice dimensions. So you can take it with you as standard when you walk into the meadow, if you happen to come across a ragwort plant, you can remove it immediately. According to the manufacturer, they already use the Rag fork as a walking stick in England.
- Easily usable. The Rag fork makes the removal of Ragwort a chore that requires hardly any effort. The Rag fork is therefore also suitable for both very young and very old pasture managers.
- Effective. The Rag fork is the most effective and environmentally friendly weapon against the Ragwort.
- Also suitable for other weeds. Although the Rag fork was primarily developed to combat Ragwort, it has also been found to be very effective against thistles, sorrel and other pasture layers.
- Lifetime Warranty. You only buy a Rag fork once and enjoy it for a lifetime.
Some practical tips in the control of Ragwort using the Rag fork:
- If the plant is too big to stick it out in one go, move the rag fork around the plant. So you put the rag fork in the ground and push the plant up there, then move the rag-fork a bit to the side and do the same again there. This is how you go around the plant until it releases easily. Avoid forceful because then pieces of carrot can break off.
- Remove sprouted plants immediately! Once out of the ground, the plant is no longer recognized by horses as poisonous and is still eaten tasty.
- "Jacobaea-in-a-corner" makes strange jumps! The plant is known for taking a very last spurt just before dying to produce seed. Do not be surprised to find the plant "in the fluff" a few days after pulling out, even if it is languishing in the green container. If you want to play it safe, burn the plant or put it in a well-sealed plastic bag. Ragwort produces seeds that hatch quickly and seeds that hatch after several years. Once you have had Ragwort in your meadow, you will have to keep checking the meadow for Ragwort for years. A year of inattention can mean that you are "back to square one".
Our own experience
Because of our webpage about Jacobaea, we are in great demand for a solution against Jacobaeaea. We have been experimenting with this a lot, but we could not find a really good solution. Poison (growth hormone) works very slowly with Jacobaea, many plants just stay alive. Last year we treated plants with the hormone and eventually some of them died but that took a long time and not all plants were destroyed by it. It turned out to be an illusion. Last year we had a few yards along the edge of the box where Ragwort was thriving, and we pulled it all out by hand, taking the roots with us as best we could. The result: terrible back pain and just another whole strip full of Jacobaea rosa again this year.