kaylahSeptember 3, 2006

Years ago, I went and got a pickup load of the free city compost. Worst thing I ever did. Introduced dozens of bad weeds, but the worst was thistles.

We have tried everything on them. Round-up, Weed-Be-Gone. They come right back.

We tried both at once, at the suggestion of the local nursery. Came right back.

We tried gasoline. BACK!

We tried boiling water. Took longer to come back.

We tried building a fire on top. Took longer, but BACK!

We tried solarizing with plastic. They travel to the edge, then BACK!

The only thing that worked was a large pile of horse manure. But it was five more years before we could use this chunk of land again.

There truly must be something that works. Our next plan is to douse some with lighter fluid, then set em on fire.

But I know what will happen. BACK!

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Dear Kaylah,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. Thistles are tough. Products containing clopyralid always seemed to work the best, but this product is not available to homeowners now. My suggestion is to apply Trimec, two applications three weeks apart staring in the next week. I am betting this works. Good luck.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 5:58AM
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Another option is to take the same approach with triclopyr. It will take multiple applications targeted in fall and spring, but you will win the battle.

Trey Rogers
The Yarddoctor

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 8:17AM
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Thanks Trey. I'll try that out.
I did read about a product called Torgon, which seems to be only available in Canada. Says the plant drinks it into its roots.
One of its ingredients was chlorine, so I thought hmmm? Chlorine Bleach?
There must be something thistles would enjoy imbibing, until they realize they have walked into it. Whiskey?
I'm generally an organic gardener, but finally decided to swear it off for two years to get rid of the city compost infestation. So far, The best cure remains an organic one.
One thing I read is that thistles dislike shade. They did move away from a nearby hedge. That area is clean now.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:35AM
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