[permaculture] weeds? (Star thistle)

Jeffrey Newman newman at bcinternet.net
Sat May 22 12:09:15 EDT 1999

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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"As a rule, it was the pleasure-haters who became unjust."   -  W.H. Auden

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