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These things are nasty.

After a 1-hour weeding excursion earlier in the summer under 93 degree heat, they just pop right back up again a week (or less) later. Now there's about 30 or so thistle sprouts in the side yard.

Is there a better, preferably (but not necessarily) organic way to get rid of them? Or will I have to wait 'til next spring to contain the invasion?

A. Spruce
Re: Thistles!

Thistles are a tough nut to crack without herbicide, however, persistent digging of the roots will eventually do the trick. Another method which I've started using for weed control is a weed torch. The key to using a torch is not to make a pile of ash, but to singe the plant to injure it and make it "bleed". The drawback to a torch is that you really can't use it in a lawn or you'll end up with lots of dead lawn.

Here is a short article I wrote on the torch I bought and use.


Re: Thistles!

Burning seems like the best way at this point - shouldn't let it get too out of control. Realistically, I already have. :) I'm willing to put in some patches come mid-to-late September.

For the dandelions, I've got the forked-tongue weeder - no biggie. I'll see how well the crabgrass takes to flame as well, though.

Re: Thistles!

Roundup is what I use. Use it when the wind is not blowing. Any plant it lands on dies but once it hits the soil it is neutralized, it only work through absorption through the leaves. You can spray it on the plant or if you don't want a dead spot around it from over spray, you can brush it on the leaves with an artist" or small paint brush. It is best to put it on when the plant is growing and about 6" tall. Don't be in a hurry it will take about 7 days before it looks like it is dying but it will kill it all the way down to and including the roots.
One very wonderful thing about thistle is the the seeds can lay in the ground for many years before they germinate, so you will probably have them for a while.

Re: Thistles!

You should keep the thistle. I am so proud of mine. It's almost like a Christmas tree now, but about 4 feet tall. They're beautiful (*&^(#*&

Re: Thistles!

Recruit Eeyore!!! :D He will eat them all!

Sorry, couldn't resist....you can tell who has small kids around the house! :rolleyes:

Re: Thistles!

Eeyore rocks !! :D

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