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Old 05-03-2013, 05:20 AM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 3,954,885 times
Reputation: 6809

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I have many acres and a lot of landscaping around the house. I also have an ongoing thistle problem in the landscaping and mulch that I have been fighting for several years. Thousands of them keep coming up and I am fed up.

This year I thought I gave everything a good dose of PREEN before anything had a chance to sprout, now a month later, once again, I have thousands of thistles coming up everywhere. I hate to use chemicals and try to do everything organic, but I used the PREEN as a last resort and it still did not work

They literally come up everywhere, in between all the rocks in my rock walls, tiny spaces between my porch and sandstone steps, mixed into t he center of all of my perrenials where they blend in and are hard to pull, ujnder every shrub, EVERYWHERE. I also have one large area of ivy groundcover and this week thousands of them are coming up all mixed into the ivy.

The problem is that I am in the county, the seeds float all over and come off of the local fields and are invasive floating onto my property.

I have decided to just hire guys to come weed the place because I am so fed up. I could literally spend every week of my life all spring through summer and fall doing nothing but digging up thistle sprouts.

Anyone have any ideas? Does PREEN not work on thistles, or did I lay it down too late? I feel like my yard has the Plague!

HELP!
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,750,723 times
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The only thing that works is to spray them when they come up with Roundup. A little squirt for each one.

If there are thistles on the neighboring properties, you will never get rid of them; just keep them under control.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,752 posts, read 3,620,656 times
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Bmachina,
Depends on the thistle.
Lets say it sprouts from seeds only and doesn't live through the winter,
you have to put a preemergent down before it has a chance to sprout.
The preemergent doesn't hurt your other plants, it stops seeds from sprouting.
Then applying additional mulch every spring also helps.
Like crab grass.
Lesco has a good preemergent, you can use a spreader or use a wheel barrow
and just throw it all over your gardens where you noticed it this year.
I live in zone 8, so I would apply preemergent in February.
I don't know your zone, but it's May, so you can't use that this year.
Too late. BUT you can use Round Up on it. If you kill it before it seeds again,
you will be another step ahead. Don't let it seed.
Buy a nice big ROund Up with the sprayer and try to spray as much as you can.
All summer spray it, preventing it from seeding. Keep up with it.
Then, next spring, usually when the forsythia blooms, Apply your Preemergent.
I would use the kind for grass, it prevents a lot of weeds from germinating.
I totally understand how you feel though.
I am in the Round Up stage right now, trying to kill things before they seed.
I am also applying preemergent in September where I live, to help as much as
possible, for fall weeds. Then again next February, and on and on .......
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 3,954,885 times
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What about in my english ivy where there are 100s of thistles all mixed in?

Last year I tried spraying each thistle with roundup and it left big brown dead spots in the ivy. There might be over one thousand of them in there.

Is it possible to whack the heads all off of them with a weedeater hovering over the ivy, before the seed heads pop? I wasnt sure what would happen if I did that but left all of the plants and stalks still mixed in the ivy?
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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"The problem is that I am in the county, the seeds float all over and come off of the local fields and are invasive floating onto my property."

Recognize that you will be fighting a continuous battle. Because your ivy doesn't get mown like grass, there is no easy way to prevent the heading out. You have some excellent advice up above, I'll just add that you might consider ripping out the ivy and putting in something else that is a better competitor. My wild berry bushes give thistle a run for the money...
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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This is the problem with groundcovers. It's so hard to control broadleaf weeds in the middle of them. I have thistles and other weeds coming up in my groundcover sedums, and all I can do is paint on glyphosate. It's tedious. What works best is a preemergent granule like Preen, applied early in spring and again in late summer. Then they don't appear at all.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:31 AM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,241,213 times
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You have my sympathy but I haven't had much better experiences. Living around pastures and hay fields with edges that always seem to contain a few huge plants where the farmers don't get them and several neglected fields that are overgrown with weeds the battle has become a way of life. Spot treatment and premergents help, but don't catch the half of the seeds. We do a lot of old fashioned yanking before they reach the flowering stage to keep the problem "contained" on our property but with the seed blowing in from several varieties it is a never ending battle to pull them. It has not taken hold in the deeper mulch around the plant beds and that may work better than ivy to keep things neat. You ivy sounds like a headache that isn't worth it to me and I can see why you might be fed up. Wish I had a brilliant solution but thought I'd offer some shared misery....
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:35 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
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I am going to assume its Canada thistle your battling.

Oryzalin (Surflan) is one of the best preemergents for fighting the thistle battle. It will take at least 3-5 years of preemergent and post emergent applications to eradicate thistle in an area. Understand you are going to be working on depleting seeds that are already in the ground. Thistle seeds do not germinate every year and can sit dormant before sprouting. After that only constant vigilance will help control wind born infestations.

What you need is a solid pest management plan that you can follow. It's like anything else in life. When broken down into small parts and put on a schedule the seemingly overwhelming becomes like mundane tasks such as brushing your teeth. Then one day you notice, hey..... where is the thistle?
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:35 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,177,937 times
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We are pretty much surrounded by agricultural and grazing land, too. This is why I invite all the "you should always pull and never spray weeds" people over to help with the garden. I'll put ribs on the grill. And we have wine, which they will really need when they're done!
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:39 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
We are pretty much surrounded by agricultural and grazing land, too. This is why I invite all the "you should always pull and never spray weeds" people over to help with the garden. I'll put ribs on the grill. And we have wine, which they will really need when they're done!
Wine. BEER ribs and BEER.
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