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thistles

 
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Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 05 6:31 pm    Post subject: thistles  Reply with quote    

This bit of the site has been quiet for quiet for awhile - so here goes - me with my usual questions... We have four acres of meadow with only two little ponies on it at the moment - I would like to make hay from it next year but it has a lot of thistle. About three acres has recently been strimmed (what else do you do with teenagers on gap years?). Could I apply a selective weed killer early on next year and then take a hay crop or take a hay crop in May and ignore the thistles? I suppose if I made it early enough the thistles wouldn't be toooo big. I should probably also give it a bit of fertiliser. Anyone have any suggestions?

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 05 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is what we do.

We have made hay and silage this year.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 05 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi Alison - did you just strim down the thistles? I would rather not use weedkiller but it's not much fun handling hay with lots of thistles in it and although the horses, when they are on the field, eat them green I don't think they like them dried either.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 05 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We had a thistle, dock and nettle spray applied. It worked a treat. Unfortunately my neighbours fields blow right onto ours, and 30 acres is too much to do by hand.

Fez
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 05 9:53 pm    Post subject: Thistles Reply with quote    

We had a large field (7 acres) that the local farmer still refers to as 'the dasher field', because it was so full of thistles, 'dasher' being a Devon name for a thistle. His tip was to wait until the thistles are in flower so they have used all their energy up in producing the flowers, then cut them down so that you leave the cut stem. The theory is that the rain then gets down the stem and rots them from the inside. It seems to have worked as the field is now clear. Having a few goats helps although you get worried as they leave it till the flowers have nearly seeded before carefully nipping them off. We cut them off either with an old Turk scythe or an edging tool driven at the base.

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