Thistles in the lawn but not over in the wild

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Old 04-06-12, 07:26 PM
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Thistles in the lawn but not over in the wild

I have a fairly decent healthy lawn that is separated by a "wild" hillside of prairie grasses (and weeds) by a course of 6x6 timbers. The thistles I've fought in the past are starting to sprout up all over the grass near the wild, but I only saw one or two thistle sprouts on the 'wild side'. This is strange, I thought the mother thistles would be over in the wild sending the shoots out into the lawn.

Given this detail, any ideas for dealing with them besides repeated mowing and shooting with Roundup (or Poison Ivy killer)?

TIA!
 
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Old 04-07-12, 05:58 AM
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What type "thistles" do you have. Can you post a pix or two of them. There are several ways to eradicate them, some with chemicals :thumbdown: and others (bull or musk thistle) which take physical work. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 04-07-12, 09:00 AM
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Here's a musk thistle. Their thorns will go through the heaviest gloves you can buy. But they can be handled if you use caution.
 
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Old 04-07-12, 10:28 AM
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Where I live, thistles are on the noxious weed list, so it is actually illegal for a landowner here to just let them grow and go to seed. I would assume that you have thistles in the lawn because that's where the prevailing wind carried the seeds. Or the seeds in the lawn just got more water and had better conditions to sprout.

If it was my lawn, I'd cut/pull up any thistles I found. And on the "wild side" just keep the flower heads clipped. If you prefer to let them bloom because you like the looks of them, just be sure to pick the seed heads once they have finished blooming, and burn them. If you keep letting thistles grow and go to seed you can expect them to multiply.

Some thistles are biannual, so while they may not get tall and bloom the first year, they will the 2nd.
 
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Old 04-07-12, 11:10 PM
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They are Canada or Plumeless thistles.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 04:26 AM
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What Brant said..... you gotta clip the potential flowers. Don't wait for them to bloom. Pretty, they ain't. We clip the heads, put them in a paper bag and burn them in a closed up barrel so the seeds don't spread. Then we dig up the roots....good luck. The roots have a tap that can go for a foot sometimes. If you kill the seed head, they will eventually go away. If you don't, they will spread like wildfire. There are up to 20,000 seeds to one plume.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 07:08 AM
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So there's nothing in particular I can do with these rosettes, just keep fighting them tit for tat?
 
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Old 04-08-12, 07:17 AM
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Canada thistles are particularly noxius because they are a perennial and can also spread by root. One plant, left undisturbed, can multiply to cover a one-half acre patch within 3 years, according to Canada Thistle .

So yes, you will need to continue either digging, cutting, pulling, spraying in order to keep the plant under control. This document applies to Canada thistle control in your area. It does suggest that herbicides are the most effective at killing the extensive root system of the plant.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 09:47 AM
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I just thought of a solution. Duh. Check with your local county extension service. I am not sure how the Canada thistle works, but down here with the Musk thistle, the service can provide you with thistle beetles. They have been bred to attack the thistle, lay their eggs in the rosette and close it shut, sort of like a spider web, preventing it from blossoming. They only attack thistles, and when they are through with one field, they move on to another.
Aha! read this: Ceutorhynchus litura - "Canada Thistle Beetle"
 
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