LETHBRIDGE, AB – Foxtail is becoming more noticeable around Lethbridge these days.
The perennial grass is not designated by legislation as a noxious weed in Alberta. However, it can be very harmful to pets and other animals if its barbed seeds become lodged in their skin, mouth, nose or eyes, or worse, if they’re ingested.
Foxtail usually matures in mid-summer, when it forms those barbed seed heads. You can mow Foxtail before the plant has matured – usually between May and June – but after the seeds have developed, you’ll need to mow, bag and dispose of the seed heads.
Michael Fox, Lethbridge’s Director of Community Services, says, unfortunately, Foxtail is thriving here this year.
“Usually it doesn’t get a chance to grow to be at any effect. Usually it has to get about 10 cm before it actually creates the part of the plant that causes issues,” Fox told local media. “With the dry weather we’ve had, it’s actually been able to outgrow the grass, but we keep working on trying to deal with the mature type of grass.”
The City is taking on management efforts to control Foxtail in public spaces, and private property owners are encouraged to do the same. The plants can be effectively picked or tilled, or sprayed with herbicides.