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Thistles
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Old-Chads-Orchard



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Malpas, Cheshire
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 10 3:33 pm    Post subject: Thistles  Reply with quote    

Help, they are driving me mad , they have taken hold in our orchard big time, & I can't keep up digging them out. Whats the best way to get rid of them? They are growing up through our fruit bushes so some are difficult to dig out, I have been cutting them off at ground level when they are amoungst the bushes but its not pactical to keep doing this, any suggestions??

Sally Too



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 2511
Location: N.Ireland
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 10 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dig or cut... both techniques work.

You could try cardboard mulch around base of your trees & bushes. It prevents stuff growing up for a while near the tree where you can't mow. Then mow the rest down - repeatedly.

We have had an ongoing battle. 20 years of weeds ........we have a sort of balance struck now........ -ish

T.G



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 7280
Location: Somewhere you're not
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 10 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i wish i had a thistle problem,,, problem we have is there are no thistles locally - cut them dry them shred them they are great in feed as a tonic and pick me up

misty07



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 2217
Location: swindon wiltshire
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 10 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i have been spiking them bacicly i heard a few years back i dont know if true but if you spike them with say a electric fence post or a fork spike or your heel and you get there hearts it is said to kill them so every thistle i see i heel the center of them and the sheep do the rest but we are not so bad with them to notice so give it a try see what happens hope this helps matty

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 10 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dig or cut, as sally said - whatever you do, don't let them seed !

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are thistle specific herbicides if you're really desperate

Old-Chads-Orchard



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Malpas, Cheshire
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
There are thistle specific herbicides if you're really desperate


are there? it is tempting to spray them once so I can get them manageable

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41983
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can't see anything wrong with doing that to get it under some sort of control initially.

SandraR



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 2346
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We just continously cut, after four years I think we may be winning, similar situation with nettles.

The Grange...that is interesting as after I cut them yesterday and they had wilted in the sun, the sheep loved them.

T.G



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 7280
Location: Somewhere you're not
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i was told cutting them to ground level and sprinkling salt in the heart will kill them - not sure how true it is, or practical never had a thistle problem.

Mr O



Joined: 13 Feb 2005
Posts: 5512
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Grazon, or is it Grazeon? Good stuff for doc's an thistles.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On my ground, if you get the conditions right they actually pull up very easily. You need to wait until they have grown up to a decent length, and then go out after a couple of days of rain. Grab them near to the ground and pull gently but firmly. I find that they slide out of the ground quite easily, and pull hundreds like this every year.
And yes, the sheep are quite happy to eat them once they have wilted.

If only the nettles were as easy to deal with!

Annette H



Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 245
Location: Worcestershire
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mr O wrote:
Grazon, or is it Grazeon? Good stuff for doc's an thistles.


Thats what we use, Grazon 90. we used to top them but there were more and more of them every year. I do them with the backpack now. Grazon gets rid of docks, nettles and bramble too

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

judith wrote:
If only the nettles were as easy to deal with!


Cattle love them and they're a great mineral source for them. I used to cut and wilt them but since strip grazing I haven't needed to. They still need the thistles cutting before they'll eat them, though.

Sally Too



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 2511
Location: N.Ireland
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 10 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We had a pony here for a few years who really helped with out battle. She would delicately eat the flowers off each thistle just before they were in full flower....... Other ponies didn't touch them though.

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