Tools and Stuff forum: Best Tool for Ridding Canadian Thistle?

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 27, 2018 7:30 AM CST
I have a problem of Canadian THistles in my garden beds. Is there an effective weeding tool out there that can get the whole root and plant out without disturbing nearby plants? Or do you know a way of ridding them without using herbicide?
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Apr 9, 2018 5:57 PM CST
If you use a narrow shovel and dig deep around the thistle, you can usually pull them up with the root.

roundup works better:)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 9, 2018 8:26 PM CST
If you have more than one, there is a problem.
You will have to dig deep but they are usually connected, SO, if you do not get the entire root, it is deep and leave a little quarter or eight of an inch piece it will come back, and as it does there will be side shoots.
Unless you can dig up an area at least a foot wide of the plant, odds are you will not get it all.
This is from recent experience and I have room to dig.
Even using poison, a year or two later, badda boom another couple pop up a ways away.
It is better dig it, pull it up and where it breaks, put some systemic killer.
This will not affect other plants unless their roots are inches apart and will go down the line killing others.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Apr 10, 2018 8:29 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried to dig as deep a root as I can but I can never get it all and it always comes back. Combining your great suggestions may increase my chances. Using a narrow shovel as Frank advises and dig as deep as I can and then apply herbicide to that specific hole to kill the rest of the root as RpR recommends maybe the trick to be rid of these persistent weeds without harming nearby plants. THanks again. THough I have thousand of them in my yard so it will take awhile to get to all. Sighing! Sad
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 10, 2018 10:19 AM CST
You can also, when they are growing, not just standing there, find a few scattered plants, dig along side, and put some systemic, it has to be systemic killer in each hole.
That one will die and you should be able to see which ones are connected by the roots system to that one.
Then you can do this again with those that look unharmed.
I have taken to , so I know where they are and do not spread by roto-tilling, take spray bottle and spray them , just the plant, even some times dripping it on, during growing season in my potato patch as by that time I cannot dig or will screw up the potatoes.

At this point they have moved diagnally across my garden to the north west and have entered the lawn.
But the ones in the original area have gone totally belly-up as I have not had to back track .
Sadly when digging potatoes last fall I know I probably broke some underground root systems so there will probably be a new patch a year from now but it is better to deal with less than a dozen than the number you have.

When I was taking care of my Aunts place she had a massive flower garden and yard invasion and I both dug them up and systemic poisoned and used some decades old powdered form, heavily .
Now I was not careful and really hoped the Hostas and Day Lily would go belly-up also but only the thistles took the hit, with ninety plus percent of the area now thistle free.
With the survivors only being next to the house in the Hostas--Day Lily jungle.

Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Apr 11, 2018 3:17 PM CST
Thanks RpR. Your experience and info really help me to tackle this nasty weed. Do you happen to have experience dealing with mugwort? THat's another nasty weed that spread by runners that I have to deal with constantly. I have used round up on it but it still comes back.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 15, 2018 11:30 PM CST
kousa said:Thanks RpR. Your experience and info really help me to tackle this nasty weed. Do you happen to have experience dealing with mugwort? THat's another nasty weed that spread by runners that I have to deal with constantly. I have used round up on it but it still comes back.

Mugwort is an Artemisia and I spent most of a summer pulling them by hand at the Minn. zoo.
The boss of bosses was allergic to them.
There is no known pre-emergence way of killing them. Using vegetation killer, when it is blossoming soak the entire plant or plants.
Obviously best to do this on a non-windy day and when it is not going to rain.
Use the best strongest systemic vegetation killer you can find.
When or if new ones pop up spray the new ones.
I would not try digging it as they are like nutgrass and quackgrass a missed fraction is a new nursery.
[Last edited by RpR - Apr 15, 2018 11:31 PM (+)]
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