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Small wild tomato like fruit ???

 
Chadwick Holmes
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Location: Volant, PA
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So on a property we are looking at there are about 12 inch tall plants that have clusters of tomato looking fruit, single stem without much branching, stem has small thin thorns...

Any help with ID ??
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Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
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forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
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And
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Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Looks like a toxic nightshade. Maybe Carolina Horsenettle http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=soca3
 
Chadwick Holmes
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That looks like it, so that'll be a cleanup before goats can come in......thanks a ton Tyler!!
 
Tyler Ludens
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You're welcome. You have to keep an eye on these guys and their relatives, because they can take over if pastures aren't carefully rotated. We have a few kinds of toxic nightshades in this region, and you can always tell overgrazed pastures because they'll be thick with them.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Yep, there is a patch on this property, luckily it's not too bad, maybe an acre patch, but it was a cattle run in its previous life so.....you called it!

The hillside feeds a swale that feeds a pond, it's actually well setup! Swale is full of cat tails and water filtering plants, I call that work that is done for me!
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patrick canidae
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Second the Carolina horse nettle. Used to do clean up work of areas with a few hundred goats and sheep and found this often on mis-grazed or disturbed land.

You will have a large seed bank of this in the soil, as you can tell from the clusters of seed laden fruits. If you do good rotational grazing with high densities and quick movements the goats can tank mix this in with other forage and do fine. Work through a strip with it, and then a strip out of it. Poison them a little and leave, the goats have the largest liver:body mass ratio of all of our domestic ruminants and can usually handle it pretty well with a little management.

Frost seeding in a tall medium red or ladino clover and proper grazing rotation will really reduce it. I found it most on clay slopes that had erosion paths or damn-thin grass from chronic set-stock grazing turning clays into surface level hardpans. Toss on a pound or two of radish seed, turnip seed, or swede seed to help break up the hard pan will really help reduce the presence of night shades in the mix. Reduce the sun and piss poor hard soils it loves and you can reduce it to reasonable in no time.

I could plant enough enterprise and Priscilla apples on that micro climate to keep us all happy from the squeezin's. What a great looking property!

 
Chadwick Holmes
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Location: Volant, PA
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Yes and yes, very clay and slope, but the land is not really too bad off, I see the potential, and I see the solution. Just to get it and get it done! Land owner is considering our proposal.

That is about 5 acres in the shots, it's a 31 acre property, 7flat, 8 slope, 15 wooded slope, with a 3/4 acre pond, and a through creek.

I saw that the horse nettle had an eight foot taproot and assumed it was a compaction relief tool, sounds like that is in fact the case!

 
John Polk
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Looks like Tyler nailed it.
Besides spreading by seeds, they also spread by rhizome.
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