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Re: Thistles

On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Jeff and Carolyn Walters wrote:

> > can I ask if anyone has a miracle solution for getting rid of thistles? 
> I have used
> > Roundup and I have feebly attempted digging them out (but I now think
> this may
> > have multiplied them?)   They seem to pop up with no warning. 
> We have several kinds of thistles around here, not all of which I can put a
> name to, but the most troublesome, and the one I suspect you are referring
> to, is Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), an underground spreader that forms
> prickly thickets about 3 ft high and has clusters of small purple flowers
> in late summer. ("Canada" is a misnomer, BTW; like most of our noxious

If this is the  one I think it is it is also fragrant.

> It so happens that I had a stand of this thistle in a new area I was
> preparing as an iris bed last year. Hand weeding is impossible, RoundUp has

Hand weeding may be done if you have the type of gloves that look
like suede ie are fairly heavy. You can then take them out roots
and all. They will start growing again but at this point you can
use Round up on them and kill them off OR - - ->

> One thing to be noted in Cirsium's favor: it is the favorite food plant of
> the caterpillars of the Painted Lady butterfly. Jeff Walters in northern Utah (Zone 4)

If you want to try to attract these butterflies you might try to
grow the remainders in a pot put in the ground. I have nettles and
hops which attract several kinds of butterflies. So now you have
some choices. Enjoy yourself.  But you will have to take the seed
heads off thoroughly. 

Diana Louis <dlouis@dynamicro.on.ca>
Zone 5 Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

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