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Weeding Blueberries With Geese, a Way to Grow Organically Without Using Herbicides
Many farmers across the country are taking advantage of the geese’s unusual ability to happily eat grass and certain plants while not pointing out the blueberry or strawberry plants you’ve grown. Geese eat grass and weeds near plants that you could not remove by hoeing or cultivating without damaging the plant’s roots.
When the goose is used correctly for weeding, the hoe and the grass and weeds do not need to be pulled out almost completely. This can go a long way in replacing expensive craft work.
Weed control is possible organically without herbicides.
Replaces expensive manual labor in digging and pulling weeds
Can be used to control noxious grasses and some weeds
Won’t eat your plants
The geese clean the irrigation ditches and fence rows.
It requires fencing them in the area and moving them to a new area as needed
It takes teaching them what plants to eat when they are small and growing
They are very messy
They are vegetarians. They don’t eat bugs. That can be a problem in a blueberry patch, especially for caterpillars that eat the leaves of your plants…
Geese tend to pack soil and mulch
How to use geese for weeding
Weed geese (grass geese) should be put in the fields at the beginning of the year, when the grass and weeds are just starting to grow. On average, two to four geese per hectare are enough for row plantings. The most popular geese for weeding are white Chinese geese. The wire-electric fence woven from nylon is quite successful and is easily moved. The fence should be three to four feet high.
Weeder geese tend to eat ripe berries. They can also damage some newly emerged blueberry vines, so the timing of their application must be adjusted accordingly.
Using a goose to pull weeds
Strawberry farmers have used geese for many years. Weeder geese can also be used in blueberry fields. Flower growers use geese on chrysanthemums, roses, peonies, irises, dahlias, gladioli and more. Geese have also been used by producers of mint and asparagus, onions, potatoes, tobacco, sugar beets, grapes, raspberries and other small fruits.
Young goslings, up to 8 weeks old, if taken to the field, must be provided with protection. They must also be closed to protect against rain and overnight. The goslings can be put on the lawn in a few days. Some grain is needed. The amount of grain needed is usually about 0.05 to 0.2 pounds per day per bird. The right amount is determined by experience. You don’t want to overfeed the geese because you need to keep them with a good appetite to graze on weeds and grasses. You have to make sure they stay strong and healthy.
The water tanks should be placed at the ends of the row to encourage the birds to graze in the entire field. In areas where additional grazing is needed, you can place water tanks near these locations. You must also provide some means of shading.
It is wise to bring the geese into an enclosed area for the night to protect them from foxes, wild dogs or other predators.
Some insecticides are toxic to geese, so do not apply insecticides while geese are in the field and do not return them to the field for several days after spraying with insecticide. Fortunately, blueberries have few pests and diseases to fight against. Caterpillars can be the biggest problem. Blueberries Caterpillars can be a problem but can be controlled. Use 1 tablespoon of Basic H in an Ortho-type syringe. Or use 1 tablespoon in a 16 oz pump spray bottle. Spray the larvae and watch them die in seconds. It is also good for blueberry bushes.
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#Weeding #Blueberries #Geese #Grow #Organically #Herbicides