[permaculture] weeds? (Star thistle)

stan larson standpat at jps.net
Sat May 22 20:35:01 EDT 1999


Anecdotal info on star thistle:

After we had bought some property in southern Oregon, we noticed quite a lot of star
thistle growing along the paths & roadways. I recall this plant many years ago--& what a
painful experience it is to walk through a field of it. I also noticed patches of
so-called Russian thistle--anyhoo, I started hoeing down the star thistle & mattocking
(using a small mattock) the Russian thistle. After two years of this (not that horrible,
because iam almost 70 now,) the yellow star thistle is very hard to find; the Russian
thistle is always a challenge! Do not ask for magic solutions--there are none. You just
have to get out & hoe.

stan larson

Jeffrey Newman wrote:

> I searched star thistle on the PFAF database. Not there. Is it known by another name? I
> have a good crop of (Scottish and Canadian) thistles in my little plot and am following
> this conversation with interest.
>
> Jeffrey Newman (central British Columbia, Canada)
>
> stephan leimroth wrote:
>
> > loren,
> >
> > burning star thistle seems to be a good way to control
> > it.  but the hazards are too great without extreme
> > preparation and a fire truck standing by.  the method
> > i've heard about requires sowing a grass in the fall,
> > like oats, to provide fuel for torching the thistle.
> > you burn when the thistles have flowered 5% (whatever
> > that means); by this time (early summer)the grasses
> > are dead, dry and ready to burn and kill the thistle.
> > three years of burning are required to make a
> > difference.
> >
> > we tried burning here in the winter.  the areas that
> > had enough fuel to burn (mostly old thistle from last
> > year) and burned to bare soil, came back to heavy star
> > thistle--no natives.  depressing and overwhelming.  we
> > tried burning a couple of days ago, but got scared at
> > the thought of starting a wild fire and so stopped.
> > now we've decided to just try to control them at the
> > 'front' of their charge--mostly by pulling--hoping to
> > slow down their advance (10 feet/yr by someone's
> > reckoning).
> >
> > we've also tried to see the bright side with the
> > possibilities of yummy honey, but i like to go
> > barefoot outside around the house and the thistle
> > makes that painfull in the summer.
> >
> > now we're thinking goats may be able to do some good;
> > but making the leap into that kind of commitment is
> > difficult for us right now.  (intensive, well-managed
> > cattle grazing is supposed to work too.)
> >
> > good luck,
> > stephan.
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>                        *******************************
> Jeffrey Newman
>
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