what type of thistles and where are they?
I am assuming in a garden.
If they are stand alone, like a nodder thistle, then a small amount of
roundup painted on the thistle with a paint brush will kill them. If small
enough, not surrounded by other plants and they have not gone to seed douse
them with hot water. Alternately dig them out by hand.
Some thistles have a very extensive root network and pop up in several
places. Roundup knocks those back pretty well (although it may not kill them
It is not in my garden but my lawn . I live in rural Iowa and the live next
to a pasture . Well, the deadbeat renter that rents the land next to us, did
not spray for thistles last year .
I am not on speaking terms with him but if he doesn't spray his soon, the
ASCS office will get a call from me.
by hand with the aid of a knife if you can get them early enough, root
around in the soil and pull the entire thistle out, or if big or in clumps
roundup (I use it neat for some tough plants or watered down for others)
applied with a small paint brush to the leaves. If an extensive rooting
thistle you will be round uping for a long time but will knock it back
significantly. Provided it is possible my preference would be by hand.
My parents (in Ohio) had a similar problem -- numerous thistles began
appearing in their lawn, also a result of a nearby pasture that was
literally loaded with them. There were far too many to dig by hand. I was
able to get rid of the thistles for them, but it took several applications
because thistles are tough critters and some were well-established before I
started. I used a broad leaf week killer (herbicide) and a hose-end sprayer
by Gilmour the first couple of times. After that, I could spray more
selectively and get just those that I either missed the first time or were
too tough to destroy with the original applications.
One of the sprays I used was Weed-B-Gon by Ortho. Be sure to read the
instructions to make sure that it is safe in your type of grass, but I have
also used it for other weeds in my St. Augustine lawn in Texas. This is the
product (but there are other similar products in lawn and garden shops):
or:use this link if wrapping makes the link too long:
I also occasionally used RoundUp on very tall, tough thistles, but RoundUp
had to be *very* carefully applied to the individual plant because it will
kill anything green it touches!
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