Bull thistles

   / Bull thistles #1  

oosik

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I know I'm not the only one with thistle problems. I've tried burning, chopping the stem off at the ground level, RoundUp or equal.

The problem seems to be the seed head. If it's not destroyed - the seeds will still ripen and the wind will spread them. Anywhere I rough up the ground - I will get thistles.

I've found a method that works for me. I never have a whole lot of thistle plants. Over the 80 acres I will get three or four dozen.

So, I'm on my ATV. Got a five gallon bucket - good pair of loppers - leather gloves. Before the heads go to seed - I'm all around the property - nip the head off - into the bucket. I burn the heads, to ash, in my burn barrel. Headless the thistle can not spread.

I really don't favor chemicals nor lugging jugs of chemicals all over the property.
 
   / Bull thistles #2  

ponytug

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Thanks, that sounds like a great method for me to try next year!

In the past, I have mowed the bull thistle before they set flowers; the cows love the decapitated thistles. I keep getting thistle in the same areas, but as they are a 30 degree slope, there aren't a lot of options for me.

There was a local report here from the next county over that fertilizing thistle areas helped grass out compete thistles. I tried it without much success, but my soil may be too poor / I may not have applied enough fertilizer.

I do notice that they appear in some disturbed areas, and wetter spots.

All the best,

Peter
 
   / Bull thistles #3  

Raul-02

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I know I'm not the only one with thistle problems.

If'n ya can't beat 'em, EAT 'EM~!!!
Did you know that burdock and bull thistles are near cousins of the artichoke?
You can Eat 'em. They are quite good.
First year thistle roots can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked.

The second year in spring the taproot can be dug up (before the stalk bolts) and it’s good roasted like potatoes or dried and ground into tasty flour that’s GREAT in fried onion rings.

Young leaves and second year stems can be harvester before the flower begins to form. They have sugars in them and are tasty but the spines are a PITA. So most folks just make tea if they use ‘em at all.

Cook and then remove the Bull Thistle flowerhead and you get a small wild artichoke heart.
 
   / Bull thistles #4  

thclimer

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There are only 2 Bull Thistle plants on our 51 acres that I know of. While most of our property is forest there are many open areas but I guess around here there is just so much other competition with "green stuff" that something like a thistle just can't compete.
 
   / Bull thistles
  • Thread Starter
#5  
OP
oosik

oosik

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Raul-02 That is interesting. I like artichoke. I'll try eating them.
 
   / Bull thistles #6  

East30

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I did that exact thing just last weekend. I have new spots that pop up from year to year. It works out to be quite manageable, once I got through them the first year. The numbers get less and less over my 70 acres. Tooke me all of 20 minutes last weekend.
 
   / Bull thistles #7  

Aquamoose

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They sure look similar to Canadian thistle. I pull the whole thing out and throw them in the WM barrel for curbside pickup. I heard that it’s a law that property owners must mitigate their spread or get fined.

Pesky suckers.
 
   / Bull thistles
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oosik

oosik

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Aquamoose - there is a TECHNICAL difference between Bull & Canadian thistles. Bull thistles have a very large tap root and do not spread via rhizomes. Canadian thistles have a spreading root system and they have rhizomes. Canadian thistles do spread via these rhizomes.

Both will spread via those nasty "umbrella-like" seeds.

I have Bull thistles. I've tried pulling them - VERY seldom able to get all of the very long, thick tap root.
 
   / Bull thistles #10  

MAX-24-Dean

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I use the same method to control them. Got a five gallon bucket of Bull thistle heads yesterday, the Scottish Highland cows ate most of the stalks already.

Third year using the clip the bulb off method and have less than a quarter of the problem I had before.
 
 
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