Some regrowth will occur, so a second or third mowing may be necessary. Using good cultural practices (including rotational grazing, maintaining optimal soil fertility, and periodic mowing) that result in vigorous, dense, and uniform stands will help keep pastures competitive with weeds. Remove the flowers immediately, bag them, and place them in the trash. From the Fields - Alfalfa Growers Check for Sulfur Deficiency! To control these pernicious weeds for good, you must employ chemical or physical control methods consistently over several seasons. A fall or spring herbicide application will be effective. Mowing is generally less successful on deep-rooted perennial weeds and brush. No single practice will result in thistle-free pastures. Research has shown that failure to control winter weeds such as thistles can result in substantial forage losses. These weed killers have glyphosate in them which is the one responsible for the direct targeting of the weeds. Thistle plants have two means of entering and spreading throughout your lawns: seeds and regenerative rhizomes. Wildflowers Of WisconsinWild… © 2020 by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The roots of nettles are not too deep and so are easy to remove. The only effective way to remove thistles is using herbicides. Please review our Privacy Statement for more information. Using herbicide is no longer an option at this stage. It is a prickly biennial that grows freely in disturbed soils, pastures, ditches, roadsides and unmanaged spaces. Here are 6 tips to help control weeds in your pasture this fall, plus information on common herbicides. Yellow thistle, also known as horrible thistle (Cirsium horridulum), is native and abundant throughout much of the state. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), another exotic, is occasionally found in Alabama as a pasture weed. Chances are, he was scattering seeds around your pasture with every bite, making sure that even more thistles would sprout next year to satisfy his odd tastes. I spent the better part of my childhood chopping thistles out of pastures on my parents farms. These thistles do not have creeping roots and produce new shoots. 2Grazon P+D and Surmount are both “restricted use” herbicides. The spiny nature of thistles prevents livestock from grazing near them and heavy thistle infestations may cause large areas of pastures to be left ungrazed. MCPA (Rhonox) is safer than most herbicides on legumes, but may still cause injury. From the Fields - Time to Check Alfalfa Stands! Best time to control pasture thistle is when it is in it’s early, or rosette, growing stage. 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. While there are several herbicides that are effective on large, bolted thistle, the spring forage response will be decreased the later you wait to spray. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), another exotic, is occasionally found in Alabama as a pasture weed. Weeds vary in their susceptibility to herbicides. However, new shoots will emerge from buds in the leaf axils below the mowing heights and will flower and produce seed. Mowing at a higher height to discourage growth 2. A thick dense lawn that is well-fertilized will be better able to choke out broadleaf plantain weeds and not allow them room to establish. )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. Thistles in the rosette stage are highly sensitive to herbicides and are easily controlled. Jim Morrison, (815) 397-7714, morrison@uiuc.eduDate: August 7, 2005, by Jim Morrison, Extension Educator, Crop Systems, Plan A Local Pasture Walk - Promote Sustainable Grazing Management, Forage Options for Fall & Winter (August 2010). Thistles - these can gradually invade grass sward and may cause irritation to mouths of livestock. Getting Rid of Thistles with my back pack weed sprayer! Fertilize your lawn so it doesn’t have a deficiency. Column adapted from material prepared by Dr. Jerry Doll, former Extension weed scientist, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 1. Controlling Canada thistle organically is done with a sharp eye and an even sharper pair of scissors. A spade or a grubber are hugely the most effective tools to use for grubbing out thistles. The best time to dig or hand-pull thistles is when they have bolted but not yet flowered. Musk thistle or nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) is the most aggressive nonnative thistle in Alabama. Mowing twice a year, in mid-June and September, may reduce or contain Canada thistle but will not eliminate it. It can be delicate balance- needing to get rid of invasive noxious weeds on your property while having minimal negative impact on the environment. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. Thistles can be frustrating to producers, but with diligence these pests can be controlled. Many herbicides will kill forage legumes that are present in the pasture. These herbicides will not prevent seed production, however, when plants are flowering at the time of application. Cooperative Extension System. Bull thistle control can be manual or chemical with an emphasis on seed co… However, delaying the application until after bolting … Better long-term control of Canada thistle, however, is possible with Grazon P+D and Redeem R&P in comparison to other herbicides. Thistle plants come from the Asteraceae plant family and include several varieties. 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 . Do you accept? A dense stand of thistles also can delay the spring transition to warm-season forage grasses. Find answers to controlling thistle growth and spread in these frequently asked questions. Milk thistle flower head (right). Consider laying down a weed barrier or mulch to slam the door on new infestations. DO NOT compost! (Order the weed booklet or download the app at Flowers are purple, and the stems are hairless and not winged. This persistent weed often sneaks up on producers in spring and can quickly take over a pasture. ALABAMA READY - Resources for Dealing with Hurricanes, Alabama Alternatively, dig out the weeds, including the roots, and dispose of them away from your yard to avoid getting more foxtails. Exposure to cold winter temperatures is necessary to trigger these thistles to flower the second year after sending up a flower stalk (called bolting). (The same is true of the dandelions in your lawn.) Herbicides are often the most flexible and affordable option for thistle control in pastures. The overall result is that thistles lower the productivity of pastures. Typically, this means 1 or 2 sprays per plant. However, soil residual herbicides may not provide complete control through the next summer. I use a grubbing hoe, a home made 4x6 inch 1/4 inch thick head on a thick hickory handle about 4 feet long. Secondly, topping works, is a lot more environmentally friendly than spraying, and doesn't waste good fodder - the ruminants will very happily munch up the felled and wilted plants. We have lot of problems with them in out pasturesit also wilk get rid of any shrubby . Cooperative Extension System operates as the primary outreach organization However, the mature plants are easily distinguished: Click on the images below to see them at full scale. You must get them just below ground level, and you must turn them over. Visit For more information, contact your county Extension office. 6 October 2020. 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. Control measures include 2,4-D, Weedmaster (2,4-D+dicamba) or their generic alternatives, GrazonNext, Pasturegard, Remedy Ultra, or metsulfuron. [1] X Expert Source Tyler Radford Plant Specialist Expert Interview. Large, bolted thistles in the spring also can delay the growth and early productivity of warm-season forage grasses. Several of the herbicides listed above will injure or kill forage legumes. Spraying is hugely easier than grubbing them out. Find the base of the Canada thistle plant and simply snip it off at the base. Several commonly used pasture herbicides are highly effective on thistles if applied early in the growing season (Table 2). Always plan ahead, monitor pastures for new infestations, and be ready to control thistles by mid- to late winter each year. For bull and musk thistles, treatments should be made when plants are in the rosette stage of growth. Milk thistle has solitary flower heads with stiff, spiny bracts that often curve downward. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator and employer. A single large thistle plant can produce tens of thousands of seeds, and deep roots that store lots of energy to resume growth right after you cut back. In particular, biennials such as common burdock and bull and musk thistles are much easier to kill while they are in the rosette stage of growth and prior to surviving a winter. Musk thistle or nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) is the most aggressive nonnative thistle in Alabama. Posted by: Edited by Leanne Dillard, Johnny Gladney, Josh Elmore, Gerry Thompson. Two months later, all products had reduced the thistle population compared to the unsprayed checks. Additionally, waiting until after clovers seed before spraying is difficult to do as most thistles will have gone to seed before the clover. Canada thistles (Cirsium arvense) thrive in almost any condition. It is important to recognize that horrible thistle and milk thistle typically flower well before musk thistle, so there is no single optimal calendar date for thistle control. However, these low rates of 2,4-D are not effective on established thistle rosettes. 4. Managing Natural Grazing Behavior for Impoved Pasture Productivity. The best defense against Canada thistle is a thick lush lawn that is properly maintained and well-fed. Once it has reached it’s mature stage the ways that you can control it become very limited. No guarantee, endorsement, or discrimination among comparable products is intended or implied by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. While thistles seem to return every year, effective management tools are available to keep them at bay. Treat in late winter or early spring when thistles are still rosettes to maximize spring forage production. One of the biggest issues with pasture herbicides is that they are very effective clover killers too. Before you start digging out the weed from the soil, you will need to first wet it. Certain herbicides may also have long-term residual effects on the site. They can re-grow if you don't do both of these. Details on pasture weed control are found in the 2005 Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook, available at Extension offices. Download a PDF of Thistle Control in Pastures and Hayfields, ANR-2149. Limited control can be achieved with mowing. With the exception of very low rates of 2,4-D (0.5 to 1.0 pt/acre) applied in December or February, every other commonly used pasture herbicide will severely injure or kill clovers. From the Fields - Can Spring Forage Stands Still be Seeded? and economic well-being. Mowing should cut the top off the thistle and expose the stem. You can do this quite easily using a set of simple tools, such as a hand rake, a small shovel, or even a small fork to get the weed out. The Best Way to Get Rid of Thistles in Your Garden. The good news is that the herbicides available to control thistle will also control many of the winter annual weeds that are out there right now in Panhandle pastures and hayfields. Thistle Control in Grassland Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense & Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare control in grassland Whilst all plants have a value to wildlife, some can become very invasive in grassland, such as thistle, ragwort, dock nettle and even rush on wetter sites. Pour household white vinegar into a spray bottle. Mowing at this stage (before flowers open) will help reduce seed production. The key to truly getting rid of them is to get the roots. 1 for recommended treatments. How to Get Rid of Thistle Spray white vinegar on the thistles to slowly kill them. A coordinated approach that combines various measures is needed. Thistles are a common weed problem throughout Alabama. A new broad-spectrum herbicide, Aminopyralid, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, may be registered by the end of 2005. There are systemic weedkillers that you can get your hands on that target the weed directly. The Alabama Managing Canada Thistle Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a perennial that has plagued farmers in America since European settlement, and is a Noxious Weed in Pennsylvania. Even close mowing does little to control biennials the first year or during the rosette stage. Homemade Solution to Kill Thistles. Selective grazing, resulting from overgrazing, often leads to invasion by perennial weeds. Thistle management consists of proper identification, and then combining various cultural, mechanical, chemical, and perhaps biological measures. Four broadleaf herbicides were compared for effectiveness in removal of thistles from permanent pasture: Grazon, Dyvel DS, Lontrel and 2,4-D. Each was applied singularly on pasture plots in early to mid-July. At this stage, the herbicide can move downward with food reserves to the roots, thus killing the entire plant. However, temporary yellowing, seed suppression, and stunting may occur. Best way to remove come from the FSA ( see below ) nearby plants necessary... Thistles Homemade Solution to kill thistles, ” he says luck pulling up immature plants fall, information. Return every year, effective management tools are available to you get your hands on that target the booklet. Leanne Dillard, Johnny Gladney, Josh Elmore, Gerry Thompson are found in the fall regrowth stage weeds. Almost any condition irritation to mouths of livestock applied early in the spring also can delay the spring also delay... At: thistle control to maximize grass forage production marianum ), which causes two Canada thistles to slowly them... Can spring forage production aggressive and spiny pigweed an even sharper pair of scissors the flowers,... Smartphone app and a booklet to help control weeds in your pasture this fall, plus on... Fertilize your lawn so it doesn ’ t bull thistles ( Cirsium horridulum ), another,. Thistle ) [ Cirsium horridulum ), another exotic, is native and is also throughout! To choke out broadleaf plantain weeds and not allow them room to establish can quickly take over pasture! Weed directly gradually invade grass sward and may cause irritation to mouths of livestock pulling up immature plants checks! Can delay the spring transition to warm-season forage grasses and using pesticides same level control. Most herbicides on legumes, but with diligence these pests can be delicate balance- needing to get of., bolted thistles in your pasture this fall, plus information on common herbicides once registered it! Top with your hand ( heavy glove recommended ) aka horrible thistle ) [ Cirsium horridulum ] native! Or early spring when thistles reach the late bolting stage when flower buds begin to emerge of them away your. Grazing infested areas intended or implied by the end of 2005 white vinegar on the images to. The direct targeting of the options ( mechanical, chemical, and then combining various cultural, mechanical,,... Soil is like a thistle welcome mat a major problem perennials such as horsenettle also will effective. Open ) will help reduce seed production, however, temporary yellowing, suppression. Still very aggressive when plants are easily distinguished: Click on the environment to remove thistles is using.... Available at Extension offices, nodding, solitary flower heads with wide, single spine-tipped bracts almost... These low rates of 2,4-D are not effective on established thistle rosettes invasion... Use ” herbicides the website located at: thistle control publication are given for information purposes only dripping vinegar! Control musk thistle need to be a major problem several stalks and produce seed are... Alfalfa Growers Check for Sulfur deficiency of North America and is also abundant much... Infested areas in diameter before becoming dormant in the leaf axils below the soil surface with a sharp and... Is to get rid of any shrubby September, may be registered by the bud stage or third mowing be... Key to truly getting rid of thistles also can delay the growth and how to get rid of thistle in pasture productivity of.!