Cut it about 3 to 4 inches below the soil surface with a shovel, and pull it out. This persistent weed often sneaks up on producers in spring and can quickly take over a pasture. Musk thistle or nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) is the most aggressive nonnative thistle in Alabama. )Over the past two summers, Bradley’s graduate student, Zach Trower, has walked across 46 Missouri pastures every 14 days to record weed species, estimate densities, and sample soil. That’s a perfect example of why it’s important to fight weeds before they get to be a major problem. However, like mowing, timing is an important factor for many herbicides. The best way to get rid of this thistle is to pull it out, especially when the flowerheads are still young and haven’t been able to lay down enough roots. These herbicides will not prevent seed production, however, when plants are flowering at the time of application. Remove the flowers immediately, bag them, and place them in the trash. Spraying is hugely easier than grubbing them out. Repeated cutting of the crown of biennial thistles 1 or 2 inches below the soil surface will eventually reduce the stand by preventing seed production. The key to truly getting rid of them is to get the roots. Exposure to cold winter temperatures is necessary to trigger these thistles to flower the second year after sending up a flower stalk (called bolting). Identifying thistles when they are in the rosette stage can be extremely difficult. Always read and follow the label before applying any herbicide. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. The optimal time for mowing is when thistles reach the late bolting stage when flower buds begin to emerge. Do not pull Canada thistle out, as this can split the root, which causes two Canada thistles to grow back. Perennial thistles, Canada thistle being the major one, can exist for many years and they reproduce from both seed and underground parent rootstocks. Perennials such as horsenettle also will be suppressed but will typically recover by midsummer. At this stage, the herbicide can move downward with food reserves to the roots, thus killing the entire plant. Spray white vinegar on the thistles to slowly kill them. Column adapted from material prepared by Dr. Jerry Doll, former Extension weed scientist, University of Wisconsin, Madison. and economic well-being. The overall result is that thistles lower the productivity of pastures. Find the base of the Canada thistle plant and simply snip it off at the base. Thistle plants come from the Asteraceae plant family and include several varieties. After bolting, they are much less susceptible to herbicides and mowing becomes the best option. “Every pasture had horse nettle, and … In pasture, the most effective way of controlling Californian thistle is to apply glyphosate (using a 5% solution of Glyphosate 360, or 500 ml to 10 L water) to the weed foliage using a rotary weed wiper . Depending upon the livestock species, some herbicides have a legal interval between application and reentry for grazing/harvest. Managing Natural Grazing Behavior for Impoved Pasture Productivity. However, the mature plants are easily distinguished: Click on the images below to see them at full scale. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), another exotic, is occasionally found in Alabama as a pasture weed. While thistles seem to return every year, effective management tools are available to keep them at bay. Crop rotation is a valuable weed management strategy for temporary pastures, especially since biennial thistles cannot tolerate tillage or crop competition. We have lot of problems with them in out pasturesit also wilk get rid of any shrubby . From the Fields - Can Spring Forage Stands Still be Seeded? Trade and brand names used in this publication are given for information purposes only. Musk thistle has large, nodding, solitary flower heads with wide, single spine-tipped bracts that curve upward. Yellow thistle (aka horrible thistle) [Cirsium horridulum] is native and is also abundant throughout most of the state. Controlling Canada thistle organically is done with a sharp eye and an even sharper pair of scissors.
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