Environmentally Friendly and Adorable: Landscaping with Goats
Gardening is fun and relaxing until your green spaces get overrun with invasive plants. Anyone who has fought with an invasive plant species knows the headache - you think you have it under control until it comes back with a vengeance, seemingly overnight. Relying on harmful herbicides or chemicals can be a danger to the people and animals sharing your communities common areas, and removing it by hand can take more time and effort than you're willing to put in. If you or your community is facing a problem like this, have you considered renting a goat?
How Can HOA Neighborhoods Use Goats?
Goats are known for their voracious appetites. Put an edible plant in front of a goat and it will likely start munching away. And that's the prime reason why the demand for goat rental is growing exponentially. HOA neighborhoods can use goats to clean up green areas that are overrun with brush or vegetation without having to get their hands dirty. Once these green spaces are cleared of plants and brambles, they can be turned into common gathering areas where neighbors can get together to garden, play, and enjoy time in nature.
Goats are brought to a site by their owners and are monitored by human (and sometimes canine) herders until the job is complete. They're usually kept in check with a portable electric fence, so none of the goats escape the designated area. They can clear many acres in just a few days, which makes them an extremely effective and environmentally-friendly way to clean up unwanted plants. Quicker than a landscaper, and safer than herbicides, goats are a great solution to a nagging problem that many HOA neighborhoods encounter.
Do You Need A Goat?
While goats are effective, they may not be the right option for every gardening issue. So how do you know if a goat is a good solution for your HOA neighborhood? First, do you have a large space for the goats to graze? Many goat rental businesses have an acreage minimum that you need to meet before they'll let you borrow a herd of goats, while a few will give you a rental goat for smaller landscaping jobs. In the case of HOA neighborhoods, especially in smaller green areas, some prep work may need to be done before you bring the goats in. It's important that they don't also eat the plants and landscaping that is supposed to be there, so it needs to be covered.
When invasive plants took over the landscape in a subdivision in Windermere, Florida, their HOA brought in goats to fix the issue after other solutions failed. The goats can easily get to areas where humans and machines can't reach, and they're motivated to work hard and get the job done because they find pesky plants delicious! In addition, watching adorable goats nibble can bring joy to your neighborhood.
Before You Rent a Goat...
If you've decided that a goat seems like a good solution for your invasive plant problem, it's now time to find a trustworthy rental company. Because of their recent surge in popularity, more goat rental businesses have cropped up, but not all are of the same caliber. When researching a company to work with, look at past projects they've done. Is someone there supervising the goats while they work? Do the goats seem healthy and happy? Contact references and go with your gut when choosing the right goat rental business!
Invasive plants can be damaging, but instead of doing more damage with dangerous herbicides or heavy equipment, maybe it's time to go a more natural route. Goats can, adorably, get the job done!