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Star Thistle

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

I live on acreage in zone 6 Idaho and am surrounded by star thistle. we have sprayed what the Weed Abatement people suggest using the "poison, fertilizer, stickum" stuff but it's still fighting to live. Anyone have any suggestions? I am trying to protect the native stuff: lupine, yarrow, hancock. We seeded last fall with "Star Thistle Fighter" pasture seed which has come up and seems to be doing great. Thanks for any help...Deb

Common names are sort of hard but I bought rose gloves and have found that some thistles pull right out of the ground with a decent heeve ho yank. Others I have to cut down and then I lightly spray the regrowth with RoundUp. Some thistles are perennial and some are annual. The annual ones I just cut down and toss on the burn pile and don't bother treating. It's the perennial thistles that I hit with RU.

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

Thank you for the suggestion. These are on acres so would be hard to hand weed although both my husband and I have been doing that as we see single ones around the areas that have been sprayed. They are not like Russian Thistle or Blue. These are huge patches of the plant. It's a nasty stuff that is very invasive with terrible little prickers on them. they get in our dog's feet, make walking awful unless you're wearing jeans, just nasty stuff. I've researched it on Google and alot of Farm Extensions have suggestions for large fields and commercial spraying but that is not feasible for us as we live on the side of a mountain and much of our site is straight uphill. Everyone around us just says it takes years to get it under control but you never completely rid your property of it. So maybe I must be patient...again, thanks for the help...Deb

Spokane, WA

Have you considered "renting" a herd of goats? I believe that goats will eat the thistle on your property. Idaho uses goats for certain types of invasive plants, especially for hilly, difficult to reach terrain.
They may eat the other plants as well, but the native stuff shouldn't have trouble bouncing back.

Peoria, IL

How long ago did you spray? Sometimes it takes a couple weeks before you will see results.

The weed killer needs time to work down into the roots of the plant and that can take a few days, a couple weeks or even longer depending upon growing conditions.

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

Bensjd: there is an add in the Lewiston Tribune for goat rental and we have considered it. That will be a "last resort"...Thank you for reinforcing the thought, tho, because I had heard about the goats when we moved up here from our contractor.

Joepyeweed: we first sprayed last year in the fall with a product that the weed abatement people gave us and said can be used at all times whether rain, snow, etc. And to be honest there is less than there was when we bought the property last spring and yes, there does seem to be some wilting on large patches when I was out there this morning. We have been spraying for at least two months now as we see them pop up. Again, I must be patient. We bought another 25lbs of Star Thistle Fighter seed and have been seeding like crazy in between rain storms....some times wonder if all we are doing is fattening the turkeys as they come right behind us enjoying the buffet...
Thank you both so much for the help...

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Hello everyone
Im more or less new here. And i just wanted to share my disgust with Knapweed!!
This stuff is the devil!! We have a ranch here with thoussands of acres. And i think this stuff came in by vechiles and in the hay. Once you have it... You really can't get rid of it all.
We have fought this stuff for years. The bi-annul stuff you can get the good bugs to take control of....these mostly eat the flower heads and then the root borers of course get the roots. However if you have the Russion Knapweed..the bugs won't destroy it. If you till your ground and this crap is in have just made it tons worst. There are sprays that will help...some of which you cant get near trees n such.. They do have a spray now i guess thats safe for under trees. I just talked to our weed sprayers and thank God are bringing me some next week.
I haven't a clue why anyone would buy this nasty stuff..I have seen it forsale in the garden catalogs..Maybe its not invasive in other parts of the county..But here in Wyoming Montana its taking over everything!

I'm sorry for rabbling on,I don't know how to make another thread or whatever ,just wanted to warn anyone that sees this plant and thinks its something they might want to have.
I do know that Redeem is suppose to help some too. Noone really wants to use sprays and the such but something has to be done before it takes all of the grass and other plants out. So i guess im begging please dont buy this plant if you do, you now have a huge headache.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my rabblings lol
Sorry i just know seen where i could make a new thread. :(

This message was edited Jun 7, 2006 10:39 AM

Peoria, IL

Chemical weed killers are more effective when applied while the plant is actively growing. I think you will see much better results from spring and summer applications of weed killer over the previous fall one.

Spokane, WA

Good luck with the thistle - it sounds like you are incorporating a variety of approaches, which is probably the soundest philosophy. You may not get rid of it entirely, but you can get the upper hand on it.

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

Hi guys, saw this old post & wanted to update we are 6yrs later & yes, we did get the upper hand finally with lots & lots of spraying & hand the point where I had my right wrist we come across a little patch here & there & pull, pull, pull....we have beautiful grasses now while everyone around us has the silly stuff....the deer track it over into our area so we know we will deal with it forever....just not as overwhelming as it once was.....

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