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Anybody have any ideas on how to get rid of them? They have taken over my garden. I've tryed chemicals but that just kills the top and then I yanked them out but for every one I get 10 more.
I wanted to avoid shoveling them out because of carpel tunnel. Thought I would try other options first.
Edit for typo's.
Last edited by krisrose (03/11/2008 12:01 pm)
Could you describe them? There are about a bajillion things in the world that are, or could be, called 'sticker weeds', and the control measures can differ.
Or post a photo?
Sorry Pat, don't have a picture handy, so I will try to describe.
They have a medium to dark green leaf with the sticker's on the edge. They get about 3 feet tall and tend to be on the slender size. Also, the flower's are a light purple.
The roots are white and break very easy. they also spread by running under the soil.
I'll try to find a picture on computer but my talent with technology is very limited.
Canada thistle? http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q … &meta=
(n.b. do not blame Canada, it's NOT from here despite the common name )
If not, where are you located?
When my garden had belonged to my mom, there were many herbs there. She had Rue, dill, basil, and many other types. But she had a TON of mint. Before she knew it, the weeds in her garden was the mint. It had spread all across the garden killing all the other plants. My mom didn't realy care until it got more serious. After the garden was trenched with the mint and you couldn't see the dirt or the other plants. And thats when she gave the garden to me. That same day, I got the tiller and stabed the Ugly plants and added them to the compost pile. After I was done and the garden was clear, I sew some peas. but by the time harvest time came, the garden was packed with the mint. every season, I have to do the same thing. I have to weed the garden till my back breaks. I guess that if your garden has a history of weeds, the next generation of plants in your garden will have weeds. No wonder they call it "Yerba Buena" wich means "Good Weed" in Spanish.
Yep Pat- that's the nasty weed. Should have known that the Canadians are behind the conspiracy to take over my garden!!
I printed out the article by K.G. Black and found it down right depressing.
They recommended a combination to help control the beast. Have you got any other ideas on how to get rid of them?? Anything short of an atomic warhead??
I live outside Flint in Michigan, straight east of me is Port Huron/ Sarnia. Its in your best interest to help me cause when these bad boys bloom the wind is going to take all those seeds right to Ontario!!
Chicken-boy, I won't plant mint ever again. It toke over my mothers garden and was major work to try to get rid of it. Notice I said "try". Other very invasive plants that I avoid are Lily-of-the-valley, Spiderwort, and Hardy Geraniums. Every time you rototill you are chopping up those roots and mutiplying your number of plants. Bummer.
There's a thousand different thistles :o in North America. Many of 'em, we're trying to blame on someone else.
I've got Italian thistles in the veggie garden. And, they aren't going away as long as the neighbor has a grape/raspberry/thistle jungle. He has an English name . . . I'm thinking of renaming them English thistles .
The reason you weren't successful with an herbicide, Krisrose, may have been because you didn't use Round-up (glyphosate). It takes quite awhile for that stuff to "work" but it kills the roots first. I hate to recommend an herbicide where vegetables will be grown but I use it in the flower gardens and it will kill the Italian thistles there.
What also kills them is a dandelion weeder. My job is to get them out of the way of the garden plants and make certain that they don't get anywhere close to blooming. There's no way that I'll be able to stop 'em from showing up, however .
DigitS'-I don't have anybody to blame for these sticker weeds but myself . Not even the rotten neighbor next door. I just did'nt have the time to properly weed my perennial garden last summer.
I've used Round-up on other plants but not these. I was having better luck with Spectrocide on other weeds and that is what I use on the stickers. I guess I'm going to have to invest some moola and come up with an attack plan.
Steve, I'm pretty certain she's got Canada thistle rather than the others, because of the description that it spreads by runners. That is the particular evil of this plant apart from most (all?) other thistles.
Kris, you can't possibly send us more thistle seeds than we've already got here, trust me
I can give you two methods which actually ARE pretty effective although neither is fast (I am not aware of any *fast* method of getting rid of this stuff). I have used both myself on this highly thistle-y property that was badly 'let go' by previous owners and can personally attest that they will work.
Method 1) Drive around on trash day and collect pieces of old carpeting that people have put out at the curb. The bigger and heavier-duty, the better. Remove all valuable plants from your garden, read on and you will see why Lay the carpeting on the garden, ovelapping well where pieces meet. Cover with woodchip or bark mulch, partly to protect the carpet, partly so it works better, and mostly because you're going to have to leave that stuff laying there for 2-3 YEARS, no foolin', and the mulch will look less stupid than the carpeting After the time is up, fork the garden over well (DO NOT TILL IT), and remove any lingering last bits of root that the fork turns up. You are now back in business.
Method 2) Dig up as much of each plant's root as you can (recommend you use a fishtail weeder or old scalloped-edge breadknife or the like, and do it on a wet day). Then, EVERY TIME the thistle plants get more than 2" high or 4" wide, dig them back out, cutting as deep down as possible. In time (like 1-3 years depending on how well you keep up with it, or possibly forever if you neglect it too often) the roots will poop out and you will be thistle-free once more. It is vital that you whack 'em promptly and deeply as soon as they show their noses, though, because thats when they're using up energy stored in the roots. If you let 'em get bigger, they *replenish* the roots from aboveground photosynthesis, and the problem just gets worse.
I have areas that were wll to wall thistle that, after being smothered for 2 years, were nearly thistle free. I did have to do some work locating and removing the last hangers-on but it wasn't bad; I think a third year under the carpeting would have about finished them off. And our East side yard, which four years ago was basically a sea of thistles with nearly no grass (I am not kidding, the thistles touched each other with mainly bare dirt in between, you had to look *hard* to find any blade of grass at all) now has perhaps one small thistle plant every 5-10', as a result of being mowed with the lawn AND having my husband go out there every month or so and rip out whatever thistles were visible. Note that this was really not often enough, I have had faster results (like 1 year instead of 4) in my garden beds, but it goes to show that persistance does pay off.
You have to keep at it, though, because if the thistles grow large you are right back at square one, and if they flower and set seed (or anything upwind does) then you are more or less doomed. BTW, once you start to get the problem under control, if you are cursed with a large seed-producing thistle population upwind that you can't do anything about, it might be worth looking into a preemergent herbicide (e.g. the corn gluten one), I do not know whether thistle seeds would be affected but they might well, you might want to look into it. (I keep thinking of looking into it b/c of annual sow thistle, but since it is only a nuisance not a serious problem I've never gotten round to reading up on it).
Good luck, it will be a long project but it very definitely can be done without atomic weaponry ,
Pat, in Thistle City
P.S. canada thistle is notorious for being hard to kill even with Rounddup - it takes multiple (and I don't mean two or three) applications.