foxglove in tasmania you can beat foxglove

tips and tricks for controlling foxglove infestations on your property

hand-weeding tips

Hand-pulling disturbs the soil and that encourages new weeds to germinate.

On the other hand, new weeds are going to germinate anyway unless there is a thick cover of other vegetation. (For example, a good healthy grass cover in a paddock - hand-pulling one foxglove there won't start a zillion others.)

On the other hand again, germination can be good. The more seeds germinate this year, the fewer you have to worry about next year. Or in 2028. Sooner or later you have to exhaust the seed bank. Why not start now?

Nevertheless, on balance, spraying with a selective herbicide is preferred for larger infestations unless there is a good reason to hand-pull instead. For example, you can't spray along creeks or in wetlands. (Most sprays are a disaster for water life such as frogs if you go too close. You need to keep the chemical back a few metres so that it has a chance to deactivate before reaching the water. There are also specially formulated sprays designed for safe use near water: they are expensive and probably not practical for most non-professional users.)

When you hand-pull, be sure that you are pulling the whole plant out - if you just pull the top off, it will regrow worse than ever. Foxgloves tend to break off at ground level when you pull them: you have to get your fingers further down under the little knob you can feel and pull from there. (A small digging tool is often helpful, a weeding fork for example.)

Foxglove is poisonous. Don't get it on your hands or skin, let alone your eyes or mouth. Wear gloves and eye protection.

A small foxglove plant.
The parts of a foxglove plant. Blue arrow: the base of the leafy green top. Red arrow: the trunk. You can't really see it but you can easily feel the bulbous knob whern you are weeding.That part must come out of the ground to kill the plant.

What do do with the plants you have pulled?

There are several methods:

Go hard, go early. Come the warm weather, you can do a quick follow up on the foxglove every so often - catch the odd one that you missed last time, check to see they aren't germinating on your piles - and spend the rest of the week doing the fun stuff: picking tomatoes, planting sunflowers, or just sitting back and taking it easy.