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folke2000

Thistle

33 posts in this topic

Is there anything that I can spray my whole yard with for thistle? I don't have a ton, but walking around with round up is a pain. I would just like to treat the whole yard and be done with the darn things.

Thanks for any advise.

Folke

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Curtail can be quite effective on thistle. Just follow manuf. mixing rates.

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Thanks BobT....I'll give it a try.

One more reason I love this site.

Folke

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Thistle is the devil. Stuff spreads like wildfire.

Feels like wildfire too if you're not paying attention when you're working. laugh

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About the least effective time you can hit a broadleaf is when it is actively growing. Most people dont worry about dandylions and thistles until they can see them growing and flowering, then try to get a handle on them. Without a doubt, the absolute best time to kill these plants is a fall application, near or after the first killing frost. At that time, the plant is storing everything in its root system to survive the winter. Hitting them with chemical at that time, will wipe them out and next spring/summer, you will be amazed at what it does for your weed control. The problem with a fall application, is that the broadleafs do not show in your yard, so the "out of sight, out of mind" sets in and people procrastinate because it doesnt look like a problem andymore.

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Have to disagree with you on that one reddog. The best time to spray broadleafs is when they ARE actively growing and flowering because they are actively sucking everything in at that time. This includes creeping charlie, one of the hardest weeds to kill. It is well known the best time to spray it is when it is flowering. Also when you spray any herbicide when it is so cool that there is frost on the ground or even when it is under 50 degrees, the effectiveness of the product is greatly reduced. I must say that is the first time I have heard the theory that a weed can store a herbicide in its roots for 6 months over the winter and then die when it decides to feed on it. Typically when we spray weeds if they aren't dying within several days that treatment is a lost cause....... smile

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Aren't thistle, dandelions, and other broadleafs annual plants? If so, fall spraying will be pretty much useless I would think. You need to hit them in the spring when they are young and growing rapidly. By the time they flower you need to apply stronger mixes or stronger chemicals to be effective.

With perennials on the other hand you might be correct, reddog.

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Fall time is the best for thistle and broadleef but any time there is foliage is good but maybe a bit tuffer to kill.

Like reddog said it is the time where plants are gathering nutrients and translocating them in to the roots .

For best control of thistle would be before they flower and drop their seeds.

Thistle are actualy of the daisy family

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Aren't most broadleaf plants annual plants? If so, they have no need to move nutrients to their root systems because they are dead come freeze-up and rely solely on there seed production to propogate future generations. In this case, fall spraying would seem like a waste of time and money. This would only be to the advantage if the plant regrows again in the spring....perennials.

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Here, maybe this is helpful depending on the thistle variety you are dealing with.

Quote:
Biennial thistles such as musk (Carduus nutans L.), plumeless (Carduus acan-thoides L.), and bull thistle [Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Tenore] are not as difficult to control as the perennial thistle species but spread rapidly by seed and can become severe problems in some areas. All biennial thistles considered noxious are native to Europe or Eurasia and were introduced into North America as seed contaminants. Biennial thistles spread by seed (achenes) that are produced in great number by all the noxious species, ranging from 8400 seeds per plant with plumeless thistle to 120,000 seeds per plant from musk thistle.

Biennial thistle seed generally germinates in the summer and fall, and the plant over-winters as a rosette. The following spring the plant resumes vegetative growth, bolts, and flowers. Numerous, generally large flower heads are produced from May to October depending on the species. After setting seed, the plants die thereby completing the life cycle. Occasionally biennial thistles have winter annual, annual, or short-lived perennial characteristics.

Biennial thistles tend to invade over-grazed or otherwise disturbed pastures, rangeland, roadsides, and waste areas. Movement into cropland is generally from nearby non-cropland or roadsides. Biennial thistles reproduce only from seed, so the key to a successful management program is to control the plants before flowering.

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The thistle is a biannual.

You beat me to it. Good find on the description.

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I think some thistles, dandelions, burdock, and many other broadleaf weeds are perennials. A fall spraying will be a huge help in the spring for battling most weeds.

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Quotes from google search: Insert thistle wherever it says dandelion, for the most part.

) Late summer and early fall is the best time to control dandelions. However, spring applications of 2,4-D will provide some control.

) But remember, the best time to control dandelions is fall.

Early fall is the best time to kill dandelions with herbicides. Dandelions are broadleaf, herbaceous perennials. Since their leaves die back in winter, it is through their roots that the plants live on. In early fall, nutrients are transferred from the dandelion leaves down to the roots. This transfer, which continues until the first killing frost, presents you with an opportunity to hit dandelions where it really hurts! Herbicides applied during this time are absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots, following the same path down as the nutrients.

)In mid- to late-spring, dandelions are at their worst. Those yellow flowers are everywhere, shortly followed by billowy seeds, ready for easy wind distribution around your yard. At this time of year, you might be tempted to pull out the weed killer big guns and treat your lawn with some serious herbicide. Unless you're willing to accept totally killing the weeds and the lawn, and then a complete new planting, step away from the sprayer.

The problem with a regular weed and feed or broadleaf perennial weed killer is that dandelions just aren't that susceptible to the poison in the spring. You'll have a much better shot at actually killing them in the fall, when they're waning for the season and will take the weed killer down to their roots along with their winter food supply. Spray in spring, and you'll have to spray again in summer, and fall. You can go ahead and treat the dandelions in spring--you'll get some results. Just don't go bonkers and spray and spray and spray in hopes of wiping them out in May.

)The most effective herbicide for killing dandelions is 2,4-D. You'll probably find it mixed with other broad- leaved weed-killers such as MCPP (Mecoprop) and dicamba. Other herbicides may be used by lawn chemical applicators. The single best time to apply these products is in September when the plants are transporting carbohydrates from the leaves to the roots for winter storage. The herbicide is moved internally to all parts of the plant, disrupting its growth pattern. You may not see much response in the fall immediately after application, but it's unlikely the dandelions will sprout again the following spring.

Im no expert, but after trying to control broadleafs for many years when they bothered me the most, I was enlightened to the fall application by my brother in law, the farmer. All I can say, is that if you havent tried a fall application of broadleaf control, give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised next spring.

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Not so sure about the dandelions but I know that Thistle seeds will sit in the ground for up to 7 years before they germinate. That means 7 years of control of the thistle plants (before they seed )before you can expect no thistles. If you think there gone, Till up a small patch of ground 5 years from now and let it go. I would be willing to bet Thistles will come up first. Roundup and other sprays will work with the plant but in the end the seeds are the problem. Kill the plants (All the plants) for the next 7 years and you should be good. As long as your neighbors do the same.

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I, as well as many turf universities, will suggest a later fall application if you're looking for the best bang for the buck.

Right after the first hard frost, as reddog mentioned.

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Dont know if this should be a new post or not. Delete it or move it if need be. I think some of the information posted is pertinent to weeds and weed control

Not so sure about the dandelions but I know that Thistle seeds will sit in the ground for up to 7 years before they germinate. That means 7 years of control of the thistle plants (before they seed )before you can expect no thistles. If you think there gone, Till up a small patch of ground 5 years from now and let it go. I would be willing to bet Thistles will come up first. Roundup and other sprays will work with the plant but in the end the seeds are the problem. Kill the plants (All the plants) for the next 7 years and you should be good. As long as your neighbors do the same.

That really is true about any seed. It can lay for many, many years dormant, but as soon as the conditions are right to germinate, it will, doesnt matter if its 1 year, 7 years or 70 years. The key to not exposing weed seeds to germination, is not to disturb/till the soil, mow your yard high (3") and often

I am in the process (2nd year) of restoring 5.5 acres of prairie, half of which it tall grass prairie, with no forbs. Indian grass, Big Blue, Switch and a little Canadien wild Rye. The other 3.2 acres is short grass paririe with forbs.

Little bluestem, side oats grama, blue grama, june grass, red top, etc are the grasses, and there are also about 70 forbs in the mix.

Ordinarily, you could expect to mow every 21 days the first two or 3 years to control weeds, and I am doing that with the tall grass pririe, but, I had to apply a herbicide to take out the white clover that was choking out the grasses.

I had the short grass prairie inspected on Memorial day, and the guy said that with a little handwork regarding the weeds, I could let it go this year and get a jump start on reseeding itself.

I have been out there, religiously every night that the weather allows me to be there working on the big 3. Thistles , Foxtail Barley, and now Marestail. Approx 2% of thistle seed is viable and will germinate... but, 2% of several hundered thousand per plant is still a large amount new thistles. The best time to take care of thistles naturally,(pulling) is in the bud stage. The plant is using all of its energy to build the seed, and the roots are at their weakest time, inregard to being attached to the ground. There is great satisfacton in pulling a budded out thistle and gettting a 9 inch tap root with the plant. You own him, at that time.

Foxtail barley:

P1010099.JPG is a very pretty, but invasive grass. It has short roots and pulls easily.

Marestail plants can have up to 2 million seeds per plant and are getting to be very, very chemical resistant. In fact, there are many documented cases in the midwest that you cant burn it down even with Roundup.

Heres a few pictures from the forb patch.

P1010122.JPG

P1010119.JPG

P1010121.JPG

P1010134.JPG

Looking forward to my first controlled burn next spring!

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Another thing to try with the thistle is step on it and crush it up a little before you spray it. Thistles have a really thick skin and sometimes don't soak up the weed control very well. If you break the skin it soaks the w/c up a lot better.

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Yes fall is the best time to kill most weeds but most universities and myself would point to early fall (September), before the first hard frost (as reddogs second post indicated), as the best time when the weeds are actively growing and it is above 60 degrees. By waiting until late fall you risk compromising both of these issues. Here is some more info........

Dandelion (broadleaf) post-emergent herbicides are growth regulators that mimic hormones in the plant. To work they must be absorbed and moved to the site of activity, usually a growing point in the root or leaf. For this reason the best time to apply these materials is when the dandelions and broadleaf weeds are actively growing, hence the term “post-emergent”. The more active the growth the better these materials will work. Because larger weeds generally tolerate more herbicide than small ones it is also best to try to control dandelions and broadleaf weeds before they become fully-grown. Spray on a windless day when temperatures are higher than 60 degrees, but less than 85 degrees Farenheit.

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Lots verry good info here fun to read and learn. Thanks all so much for sharing.

Reddog looks like your well on your way with your feilds, looks awsome. I know a bitt about what you are doing but not much, enough to know the hard work and invesment you have there.

Thanks for the pictures.

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Yes, by later fall I meant mid September. I'm not suggesting waiting for a freeze, but usually by Sept. 10, we've had a frost.

If you're a 21st'er you're already into fall. If you're a normal person, the dog days of summer are here?? Or are they??

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Lots of really good info!

Just to clarify for myself. I just planted a large area of new grass. It looks really good, but there is a variety of weed growth. So, I plan on spraying trimec and fertilizing, around the middle of september. Should I use a weed n' feed fertilizer or just standard fertilizer? Should I spray trimec again in October? Thanks guys, just trying to clarify all this info.

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Yes fall is the best time to kill most weeds but most universities and myself would point to early fall (September), before the first hard frost (as reddogs second post indicated), as the best time when the weeds are actively growing and it is above 60 degrees. By waiting until late fall you risk compromising both of these issues. Here is some more info........

Dandelion (broadleaf) post-emergent herbicides are growth regulators that mimic hormones in the plant. To work they must be absorbed and moved to the site of activity, usually a growing point in the root or leaf. For this reason the best time to apply these materials is when the dandelions and broadleaf weeds are actively growing, hence the term “post-emergent”. The more active the growth the better these materials will work. Because larger weeds generally tolerate more herbicide than small ones it is also best to try to control dandelions and broadleaf weeds before they become fully-grown. Spray on a windless day when temperatures are higher than 60 degrees, but less than 85 degrees Farenheit.

The only thought I have to waiting for September is this. If you have actively growing thistle or any unwanted plant that reproduces by spreading seed, waiting until September would seem like a self-defeating idea. So you wait and the plant flowers, germinates, and releases its next generation and then you kill it. Kind of a waste don't you think? Plants that procreate through rhizomes, bulbs, etc. (perennials) are much better controlled through fall application but I wouldn't wait until it goes dormant after freezing. Do it when the plant is beginning to prepare for the winter. This is when it is putting effort into the root and this is when the herbicide will be maximized.

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Quote:
fishersofmen: Have to disagree with you on that one reddog. The best time to spray broadleafs is when they ARE actively growing and flowering because they are actively sucking everything in at that time. This includes creeping charlie, one of the hardest weeds to kill. It is well known the best time to spray it is when it is flowering. Also when you spray any herbicide when it is so cool that there is frost on the ground or even when it is under 50 degrees, the effectiveness of the product is greatly reduced. I must say that is the first time I have heard the theory that a weed can store a herbicide in its roots for 6 months over the winter and then die when it decides to feed on it. Typically when we spray weeds if they aren't dying within several days that treatment is a lost cause.......

( I didnt try to say it stored the chemical in the root to feed on later. The plant sucks the chemical into the root , no more root, no more plant. You dont see the chemical kill the plant with a fall application, because the plant is not actively growing on top of the yard, but it is actively growing, and that is the requirement for control.)

Yes fall is the best time to kill most weeds but most universities and myself would point to early fall (September), before the first hard frost (as reddogs second post indicated), as the best time when the weeds are actively growing and it is above 60 degrees. By waiting until late fall you risk compromising both of these issues. Here is some more info........

Dandelion (broadleaf) post-emergent herbicides are growth regulators that mimic hormones in the plant. To work they must be absorbed and moved to the site of activity, usually a growing point in the root or leaf. For this reason the best time to apply these materials is when the dandelions and broadleaf weeds are actively growing, hence the term “post-emergent”. The more active the growth the better these materials will work. Because larger weeds generally tolerate more herbicide than small ones it is also best to try to control dandelions and broadleaf weeds before they become fully-grown. Spray on a windless day when temperatures are higher than 60 degrees, but less than 85 degrees Farenheit.

I understand what you are getting at and trying to relay and your copy makes perfect sense, but it needs to be broken down and explained a little further to really understand what is being said.

There are two parts of the plant that grow, the plant above the ground, and the root below the ground. Both parts actively grow, but at different stages of the season.

Dandelion (broadleaf) post-emergent herbicides are growth regulators that mimic hormones in the plant. To work they must be absorbed and moved to the site of activity, usually a growing point in the root or leaf. ((2 distinctly different growing and application seasons) For this reason the best time to apply these materials is when the dandelions and broadleaf weeds are actively growing,(root:early spring or fall, or plant, late spring or summer) hence the term “post-emergent”. The more active the growth (root or plant) the better these materials will work. Because larger weeds generally tolerate more herbicide than small ones it is also best to try to control dandelions and broadleaf weeds before they become fully-grown.

Hitting in the fall takes out the newly germinated plants that are too small to even see or worry about Spray on a windless day when temperatures are higher than 60 degrees, but less than 85 degrees Farenheit. ( Lots of them days in September)

A broadleaf has 3 types of growth stages. Immediately after germination, it builds 80% root, and 20% plant. When it gets mature enough to flower/seed, it then builds 90% plant and very little root development, then after it seeds, to prepare for the winter, it slows the plant develpopment and builds up the nutrient in the root system again for next year. The only thing this plant is on this earth for, its to procreate. It wants to make seeds. Mowing stops seed development, but doesnt stop the plant from surviving, particularly these bianuals, or winter annuals or whatever a dandelion is. Mowing to control weeds is only done so the yard or prairie or whatever it is that you have can fill in and choke out the weeds. Its a constant battle that if left unchecked, the weeds will always win.

When you spray dandelions during the heart of the growing season, as suggested, that plant is growing out of the ground and building new plant fast and hard. You can stunt or slow them with chemical, or maybe even kill them if your chemical, timing and application are all good, but that plant is trying VERY hard to build a seed head, and they are tough at that time, not impossible, by any means though. Plus you dont get any new plants that germinate during the summer but are too small to worry about.

Hitting them in the fall, when they are actively growing roots, and storing nutrients takes the chemical right down into the heart of the plant, where it weakens it it so it cannot survive the winter, along with the new plants, that you dont notice being there.

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Originally Posted By: fishersofmen
Yes fall is the best time to kill most weeds but most universities and myself would point to early fall (September), before the first hard frost (as reddogs second post indicated), as the best time when the weeds are actively growing and it is above 60 degrees. By waiting until late fall you risk compromising both of these issues. Here is some more info........

Dandelion (broadleaf) post-emergent herbicides are growth regulators that mimic hormones in the plant. To work they must be absorbed and moved to the site of activity, usually a growing point in the root or leaf. For this reason the best time to apply these materials is when the dandelions and broadleaf weeds are actively growing, hence the term “post-emergent”. The more active the growth the better these materials will work. Because larger weeds generally tolerate more herbicide than small ones it is also best to try to control dandelions and broadleaf weeds before they become fully-grown. Spray on a windless day when temperatures are higher than 60 degrees, but less than 85 degrees Farenheit.

The only thought I have to waiting for September is this. If you have actively growing thistle or any unwanted plant that reproduces by spreading seed, waiting until September would seem like a self-defeating idea. So you wait and the plant flowers, germinates, and releases its next generation and then you kill it. Kind of a waste don't you think? Plants that procreate through rhizomes, bulbs, etc. (perennials) are much better controlled through fall application but I wouldn't wait until it goes dormant after freezing. Do it when the plant is beginning to prepare for the winter. This is when it is putting effort into the root and this is when the herbicide will be maximized.

Yes, youre right about that. You dont want to treat late enough that the the plant is dormant. I said near or after the first frost in my original post, and that may have been a little misleading and some may have taken this as to mean freezeup.

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