Carolina Horsenettle - “weed” or natural cover crop in fallow plot?


Active Member
I don’t plant true summer plots but do include reseeding clovers (crimson and arrowleaf) in all of my plots. Like most people in this area (SW Mississippi) I just let my plots go fallow over the summer and most of my plots fill in with grasses and dog fennel after the clover fades, which makes a good base for throw and mow. But this year one of my plots is predominately horsenettle. Should I try and eradicate the horsenettle or leave it as cover? I know if has a deep taproot and probably scavenges nutrients ... but it just seems like a weed that needs to be taken out!

Anyone have any experience/thoughts/guidance?
Once established it can build an extensive root system and spreads by both seed and rhizomes. My thoughts are that if you do throw and mow in the fall that the roots might interfere with your annuals to some extent. I know that it would compete with your annual clovers the next spring. I'm fairly tolerant of lots of weeds, but personally I would want to control this one. Some animals (even turkey) will eat those yellow fruits, but compared to a lot of other plants, I see a very low wildlife value.