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                    Win the Battle! Methods on How To Kill                                                         by Woody Marx
                                                                                                                   355 Follow ers
                    Thistles

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                         "Dear Friendly Gardener,                  us to green up your lawn.
                         I have never read your
                         column and never heard of Pure Milk Thistle Extract
                         you, but my sister, Etchy     www.AlohaMedicinals.com
                         Chork, who lives just down Buy Direct From Manufacturer 500 mg of
                         the road and has been         Pure Milk Thistle Extract
                         hanging around my house
                         too much since her            Custom Luxury Greenhouses
                         husband, the late Mr.         www.luxurygreenhouses.com
                         Chork died after falling into Beautiful greenhouse structures custom
                         a vat of grape jelly (don't
                         ask me the details) and as I made to your specifications
                         say Etchy suggested that I
                         should "do something
                         about those thistles!..why don't you write to the Friendly
                         Gardener and ask him what to do!" so I am doing something and
                         writing to you on her advice, a decision I shall, inevitably regret
                         sooner or later.


                         So the situation is that I have thistles everywhere around my
                         house, and in fact I think they are multiplying at a startling rate...it
                         seems they are trying to block my door if they can, and while that
                         may be a good thing, in that it will discourage Etchy from visiting,
                         will also prevent me, in time, from leaving my own house.




                   The Friendly Gardener                             Control those thistles don't let them get
                   Replies                                           the best of you! Kill thistles before you
                   Dear Mrs. P.,                                     are overwhelmed by the pest and can't
                                                                     get a natural nights' sleep for fear this
                                                                     weed will invade your very privacy
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                                                                     weed will invade your very privacy
                       The thing to remember about                   and start moving from just dominating
                       thistles is that there are a variety          your garden to possibly coming into
                       of ways to do them in , so you are            your life and killing your happiness by
                       not to worry about that. If you               growing all over your videos, wiping
                       worry about anything, I suggest               out your house plants and generally
                       you worry about your sister
                                                                     making a mess of your grass and your
                       Etchy. She sounds like she
                                                                     family. Thistles spread like a noxious
                       needs a hobby, or an outside
                                                                     agent of invasive plant and grow on a
                       interest besides hanging out at
                       your house all the time, but that's           scale of biological monstrocity! Help
                       just my impression.                           yourself now against the thistle and put
                                                                     an end to them it before they eat your
                                                                     video collection!
                       A Tale of the Thistle
                       Before you do anything at all, you must make sure you actually have
                       thistles growing on your property. You can't just assume they are thistles
                       because 'they say so.' You need proof !


                       But first a little story...
                               Legend has it (and it refuses to give it back) that a group of sleeping
                               Scottish soldiers (is there any other kind?) were saved by the involuntary
                               intervention of a Scottish wild thistle. It seems that a gang of Vikings (are
                               there any other kind?) forgot to wear their shoes when sneaking up on
                               this snoozing band of Scotland's best, and they stepped into a patch
                               of...you guessed it...thistles! It is said (by me) that to this day, their
                               screams can still be heard, echoing through the Highland glen. In
                               thanks, the plant was made the Guardian Thistle (Thistle keeper) and is
                               now a national symbol of the Scottish nation.



                       Now, getting back to thistle identity, I suggest some reference books or a
                       quick search on the 'net' for thistle types or something of that kind. In the
                       event that you don't have a computer, however, I will provide a list of
                       candidates:


                   Creeping thistle
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                   This plant, is, well, creepy, hence the name. He likes to grow everywhere: along
                   the waterfront, (not the one with Marlon Brando) in meadows, cluttered places with
                   dirt and stones or along the boundaries of the forest. In other words, everywhere.
                   Their flowers are lighter than other purple thistles and their stems are smooth with
                   lots of branches. The flowers are in clusters on the branches.
                   Nodding thistle
                   The nodding thistle look as though he is hanging his head a bit--and for good
                   reason because ants find his a delicacy. Each of the seeds of the nodding thistle
                   has a special secret : the ants call it 'desert'. There is a bulge on the Nodding
                   Thistle that is full of oil and starch. The ants climb up the stalk to retrieve the
                   seeds and they extract the tasty stuff and bring it back to the anthill. The spines of
                   this flower are much thicker and longer than all other thistles. The stem is just
                   below the flower and is smooth, which makes access for the ant easier, but also
                   discourages other animals from eating it--after all,who wants to a plant and get a
                   mouthful of Formicidae along with it!
                   Now, while I could go on all day describing this pesky plant to you, I won't. Instead,
                   I suggest that if you don't know what a thistle is by now, you should sell your house
                   and buy one without this nettle some pricker hiding in the undergrowth and you
                   can forget all about the subject. Try a home in Antarctica--if they grow there, to
                   quote a line from Dickens, "I'll eat my head!" but don't hold me to that.

                   Methods of Eradication
                   Alright then, moving right along,
                   how to
                   eradicate,decimate,exterminate
                   and generally obliterate, this
                   bothersome intruder.

                   Firstly, I recommend you try and tackle these 'fellers' in a hand-to-hand
                   combat. Get yourself some good gardening gloves and a shovel, and start
                   digging.

                   You may find this too exhausting however, (not that you are necessarily
                   out of shape, as thistles can really grip the ground and hold on for dear
                   life when threatened) so you can alternatively get yourself some goats
                   and let them deal with them. Goats love thistles and thistles hate goats.
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                   Now, let's assume goats are not available where you live, or they are for
                   other reasons--impractical. (Yes that is possible you know--goats may be
                   cute and cuddly, but after they start eating your car tires for brunch, you
                   may find them somewhat irritating.

                   In that case you might want to try some good old competition on those
                   thistle thugs. Plant some clover. It will challenge that uncultivated (pun
                   intended) gentleman to a fair fight, and likely the clover will win.




                   Need another way to wipe-out
                   the                                             Canadian Thistle
                   thistle;Scottish,Canadian,Russian
                   or other Geo-political varieties of
                   the species?


                   Mulch your garden, and prevent
                   further generations of thistle
                   moving in and never checking out.


                   Crush some leaves and
                   composted pine needles, straw
                   or hay. These are common
                   mulches. Spread a thick layer
                   (about 2 to 4 inches) above the
                   ground around your plants. The
                   mantle that is created prevents
                   most weeds from germinating
                   and in turn keeps the water in
                   the soil.

                   If You Can't Beat 'em...Eat
                   'em!
                   Thorns on the pizza
                                                                   Russian Thistle Engulfing Russian
                   What you might not know is that                 Unfortunate
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                                                                   Unfortunate
                   some people eat thistles. In
                   France and Italy for example,
                   they are widely eaten in the form
                   of artichokes.

                   The artichoke is a thistle with a
                   huge flower as thick as an
                   orange. Around the flower are
                   spikes which, unless you want a
                   sore-throat big-time, and
                   discover that within the flower
                   of the artichoke it is soft, and it
                   tastes pretty good. The interior is
                   called the heart,and this can be a topping on pizza.

                   So maybe those goats have a good idea after all. Who would've thunk it?




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                   This Hub w as last updated on August 25, 2012


                               Useful • Funny {1} • Awesome • Beautiful • Interesting {1}




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                    Comments       5 comments                                                     Follow (1)

                    Go to last comment

                           Dolores Monet 23 months ago from East Coast, United States    Level 7 Commenter

                           I've been fighting thistles in my front garden for a year or two. Maybe I
                           should get a pet goat!


                           Shinkicker 22 months ago from Scotland                        Level 4 Commenter

                           As a born and bred hairy Caledonian I really should report this Hub to
                           the Scottish Tourist Board. But any publicity will do them.

                           Great wee Hub ye ken :-)


                           Woody Marx 22 months ago from Ontario, Canada                       Hub Author

                           Shin: Ach! You do na wanna go doin' that! Anyway the Scottish Tourist
                           Board is down at the pub all day and they never read their mail. ;)

                           Stop by for a wee visit anytime!


                           NotTooTall 14 months ago from The Land of Pleasant Living     Level 1 Commenter

                           Hi Woody Marx,

                           Arg . . . Thistle! The bane of many a gardener. You gotta get those darn
                           things before they anchor themselves and produce that fluffy seed,
                           they're so tough!

                          I used to work for a plant nursery and they grew amock in the entrance
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                         I used to work for a plant nursery and they grew amock in the entrance
                         field. I enlisted a small force and we spent two days just bending and
                         trying to break their stems near to the base of the plants. Then we went
                         back the next week and mowed them over. Then we covered the area
                         with a bunch of donated newspaper and threw 'dirt', (not good soil) on
                         the newspaper as a way of suffocating them. The boss contributed by
                         bringing us yards and yards of free mulch from the local dump to top it all
                         off. It worked great. :)

                         NT T


                         Woody Marx 14 months ago from Ontario, Canada                           Hub Author

                         NottooT: What a relief to hear from a thistle-warrior who has experienced
                         the thrill of success and not the depression of defeat. Thistles have a
                         one-track mind...kill or be killed. So we must be on our guard! :)

                         Thanks for comments.




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Description: Win the Battle Against Pesky Thistles! Kill Them. Kill them Good. Kill them on the Spot. Go for it. Get your Thistlin' On!