The missing link

Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Points
9
Location
Minnesota
I have a menising weed it is American thissel . It telegraphs along the topsoil and as you know break it off it will self repair and send out just as many new shoots as you broke off . It just finds an opening and grows to about 7’ in about two weeks . The seed pod is about the size of a nickel and highly structured. When mature it has needle like thornes . I have learned not to put this anywhere near the ground . The collages and universities tell you the same thing once you have it you have for ever ,weed control companies stay a way from it , food source for 90 % of the fowl population . Need help !!
 

Ridgerunner

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
6,765
Reaction score
5,494
Points
377
Location
Southeast Louisiana Zone 9A
Hi Stephen, welcome to the forum. :frow Glad you joined. You might want to modify your profile to show your general location. That can help out with a lot of things, you may even find a neighbor with a similar problem.

There are several different kinds of thistle, some biennial and some perennial. I don't know of any called American Thistle. Some are worse than others. I'm mostly familiar with Canada thistle which is a perennial that originated in Asia. You might check out musk thistle or bull thistle. It sound like yours could be one of those. Those are biennial, which are actually easier to control than the perennials. Easier doesn't mean easy though.

Where are you trying to control it, a cultivated area, your lawn, or some type of pastureland or hay field? How big of an area are you talking about? That might make a difference in what you can do. They form a big root so if you cut them off they just regrow.

If I catch them young before that root gets ridiculous I generally dig them up and put them where they will dry out. That kills that plant. They are not that hard to control in my garden or landscape beds since I get them young. If the plant is established, usually in the lawn, pasture, or hay field, I use a mattock and cut off the top portion, trying to get some of the root but not trying to dig it all out. So yes it grows back. My goal with those is to never let it go to seed. If it is in a lawn where you mow regularly you can stop it from seeding but those leaves spread out and have sharp thorns, dangerous to kids or anyone else out there. That's why I use a mattock to remove them even in the lawn.

If a flower head ever forms I make sure I get rid of them, usually in my burn barrel. Even if you cut it before the seeds form but after it flowers the plant will continue maturing them as it dries up. It can still make viable seeds. As a minimum send them to the landfill. I never put any part of a thistle in my compost and I don't let any that even look like they are thinking about flowering rot in place. I don't use Glysophate on them but if you spray then early before they start to flower that should kill them. Once they start to flower though it's too late, they will still make viable seeds. I don't know how you feel about chemicals.

One plant can make a lot of seeds. A problem is when a neighbor does not try to control them or when they grow and mature along the side of a road or in fence rows. Once they get established in an area I don't think you ever get rid of them, you just try to control them.

Good luck with this and once again :frow
 

flowerbug

Garden Addicted
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
6,091
Reaction score
4,821
Points
297
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
i dig them out, repeatedly until i track down every little piece of root. which in the clay here can be quite a chore, but i consider it cheap therapy (both physical and mental :) ). the sow thistles are much worse than the globe thistles IMO. the globe thistle roots are much larger and easier to see so i don't have as many chunks left behind to find later.

they both go down 2-3ft, that can be heavy work (i do all of this by hand tools/shovel).

i'm sure weeds like these are why glyphosate is so popular. i have used it on some places, but you may need to spray more than once.

two other problem weeds that are hard to clear are horsetail and milkweed. i happen to like both of them as plants in other places, i just don't want them in the more formal gardens or the veggie patches.

and don't get me started on grasses... or honeysuckle... arg...
 

bobm

Garden Addicted
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
3,556
Reaction score
2,111
Points
277
Location
SW Washington
When you have flocks of black birds bringing in millions of thistle seeds onto your fields. You would indeed spend your waking hours slashing and hacking to detsroy this weed. Much better to use Roundup to kill root and all before its' seeds mature to save yourself much more agrivation for next year too.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Points
9
Location
Minnesota
i dig them out, repeatedly until i track down every little piece of root. which in the clay here can be quite a chore, but i consider it cheap therapy (both physical and mental :) ). the sow thistles are much worse than the globe thistles IMO. the globe thistle roots are much larger and easier to see so i don't have as many chunks left behind to find later.

they both go down 2-3ft, that can be heavy work (i do all of this by hand tools/shovel).

i'm sure weeds like these are why glyphosate is so popular. i have used it on some places, but you may need to spray more than once.

two other problem weeds that are hard to clear are horsetail and milkweed. i happen to like both of them as plants in other places, i just don't want them in the more formal gardens or the veggie patches.

and don't get me started on grasses... or honeysuckle... arg...
Ok ,thank you for the clearifaction so it must be Canadian thissel it’s preanual and the city wants it out or the will charge $ 234 hour to get it out to their satisfaction last year it showed up in my yard ,before that it was my flower gardens and the small plot vegetable garden .
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Points
9
Location
Minnesota
Hi Stephen, welcome to the forum. :frow Glad you joined. You might want to modify your profile to show your general location. That can help out with a lot of things, you may even find a neighbor with a similar problem.

There are several different kinds of thistle, some biennial and some perennial. I don't know of any called American Thistle. Some are worse than others. I'm mostly familiar with Canada thistle which is a perennial that originated in Asia. You might check out musk thistle or bull thistle. It sound like yours could be one of those. Those are biennial, which are actually easier to control than the perennials. Easier doesn't mean easy though.

Where are you trying to control it, a cultivated area, your lawn, or some type of pastureland or hay field? How big of an area are you talking about? That might make a difference in what you can do. They form a big root so if you cut them off they just regrow.

If I catch them young before that root gets ridiculous I generally dig them up and put them where they will dry out. That kills that plant. They are not that hard to control in my garden or landscape beds since I get them young. If the plant is established, usually in the lawn, pasture, or hay field, I use a mattock and cut off the top portion, trying to get some of the root but not trying to dig it all out. So yes it grows back. My goal with those is to never let it go to seed. If it is in a lawn where you mow regularly you can stop it from seeding but those leaves spread out and have sharp thorns, dangerous to kids or anyone else out there. That's why I use a mattock to remove them even in the lawn.

If a flower head ever forms I make sure I get rid of them, usually in my burn barrel. Even if you cut it before the seeds form but after it flowers the plant will continue maturing them as it dries up. It can still make viable seeds. As a minimum send them to the landfill. I never put any part of a thistle in my compost and I don't let any that even look like they are thinking about flowering rot in place. I don't use Glysophate on them but if you spray then early before they start to flower that should kill them. Once they start to flower though it's too late, they will still make viable seeds. I don't know how you feel about chemicals.

One plant can make a lot of seeds. A problem is when a neighbor does not try to control them or when they grow and mature along the side of a road or in fence rows. Once they get established in an area I don't think you ever get rid of them, you just try to control them. My question is this besides roundup could or would putting down grass seed in the yard chock it out ?

Good luck with this and once again
 
Top