10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

This article was co-authored by Ben Barkan. Ben Barkan is a Garden and Landscape Designer and the Owner and Founder of HomeHarvest LLC, an edible landscapes and construction business based in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben has over 12 years of experience working with organic gardening and specializes in designing and building beautiful landscapes with custom construction and creative plant integration. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer, is licensed Construction Supervisor in Massachusetts, and is a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor. He holds an associates degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Thistles may look pretty, but they can be a stubborn weed to get rid of. You work hard to manage and maintain your pastures, so you may be understandably frustrated if you find yourself dealing with them. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get rid of the thistles and keep them from coming back. While some thistles, such as Canadian thistles, are more difficult to get rid of, most can be controlled and removed with the right supplies. To help you with the task, we’ve put together a handy list of things you can do to eradicate the pesky weeds you have in your pasture so you can get back to enjoying your pristine land.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

You work hard to manage and maintain your pastures, so you may be understandably frustrated if you find yourself dealing with pesky weeds like thistles. Fortunately, there are things you can do for easy thistles removal and to keep them from coming back. To help you learn how to get rid of thistle in pastures, we’ve put together a handy list of the best way to kill thistles and other handy thistles control methods.

What are thistles?

Firstly, let’s discuss what thistles are and why thistles removal is so important to farmers and pastoralists.

There are many varieties of thistle in Australia and New Zealand, and they were first declared a weed back around 1850. Thistles grow as a rosette of leaves close to the ground, with tall stems carrying the flowers. Flowers are mainly pink-purple although there are also some yellow flowering thistles varieties.

Dealing with Variegated thistle and the Scotch or Bull thistle s are common issues for farmers and pastoralists across Australia; without thistle control in pastures it can form very large infestations, choking out pasture species, as well as providing shelter for pest species such as rabbits. It is also poisonous under certain conditions and can kill cattle and occasionally sheep, particularly when they consume large quantities of the young thistles in the absence of alternative feed. With their needle-like spines, they can also cause injury to animals, and can cause serious contamination of wool, so learning how to get rid of bull thistle and variegated thistle can be particularly important.

Now that we have the facts on thistles, here are some tips for the best way to kill thistles and thistle removal and control methods.

Tip 1: Monitor your pasture in late winter and early spring

How to get rid of thistle naturally is to attack them before they have a chance to grow and spread, so search for thistles before they start to flower. The best times to do this is during the late winter and early spring, while they are still sprouting.Take a walk through your pastures around this time to hunt for young thistles so you can take them out.

Young thistles will appear in a small, rosette growth form. While they’re still young, you won’t find the iconic spiny stems and flowers, instead, thistles will appear as small growths that feature wavy leaves that look like small rosettes. When you’re searching through your pastures, keep an eye out for these growths.

Tip 2: Remove them while still young

How do you get rid of thistles before they have developed yet? The easiest way is to dig out small patches of thistles if they haven’t flowered yet, using a shovel to cut the plant and then pull it out. If you only have small patches of individual thistle plants that are still in their growing phase, take a shovel and cut the plant about 7–10 cm below the surface of the soil to separate it from its roots. Then, grasp the base, pull it out of the ground, and ensure to dispose of it carefully to avoid it spreading. Removing the thistles before they flower will help to stop them from spreading any further.

Tip 3: Treat small thistles directly with herbicide

Spraying thistles in pasture with thistle spray or herbicide is best to do while they’re young. Try to catch them before they have had a chance to flower or produce seeds. Choose an herbicide that is suitable for thistles and apply it directly to the thistles to stop them before they get a chance to spread. Mix the herbicide according to the directions and use a hand or pump sprayer to apply it directly to the thistles.

Tip 4: Treat your entire pasture if you have adult thistles

If you have thistles, you likely have other weeds, too. If the thistles have moved past the sprouting stage and have started developing spikes and flowers, spraying thistles in pasture may not be enough to completely remove them. Your best bet is to use a strong herbicide to your entire field, which will knock out almost all of your weeds, including thistles. You can also consider a weed spraying service that can do this for you.

Tip 5: Mow the pasture for temporary control

If you want to know a simple approach on how to remove thistle weeds from your pasture, at least in the short term, then try to mow before the flower buds begin to emerge. While mowing won’t destroy the roots of the thistles, it’s a quick and easy thistle remover. If you can mow before the thistles are able to flower and spread their seeds, you can help limit their spread as well. Keep in mind that by not removing the roots, they are likely to grow back, so other thistles control methods will need to be applied as well.

You can also mow a pasture that’s been overrun with thistles and then apply a thistle spray or herbicide to help fully eradicate them. This method can also work if you are looking for how to remove thistles from lawn or your backyard.

Tip 6: Use controlled burns for severe infestations

Burning your pasture before applying herbicide can help in very serious cases of thistle growth.. If your pasture has been completely overrun by thistles, a controlled burn followed by a strong herbicide may be able to remove your thistle problem. Controlled fires can cause serious damage if they spread and get out of control, so ensure you follow all required steps when you are planning your burns. Visit the applicable website for your local authorit y and follow all requirements when planning and conducting your controlled burn.

Tip 7: Avoid overgrazing to help prevent thistles.

Many types of thistle become established on bare or over-grazed patches of land, so practising good pasture and livestock management can help to avoid overgrazing and providing conditions for thistles to thrive.

Tip 8: Check your pastures weekly for thistles.

The best way to stop thistles from becoming a problem on your property, is to monitor for new growth and prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place. Like with most things, prevention is always better than a cure.. If you notice a few thistle plants out in your pasture, take action to get rid of them as soon as you can. That handful of thistles that you see now can quickly turn into hundreds and thousands in a year or two if left unchecked.

If you are looking for additional help for how to remove thistle weeds and control thistles in your pastures, get in touch with Rencon Air & Land. Our services are conducted using the best and most unique equipment, as well as local knowledge and years of experience in the Agricultural and Forestry industries.

We have the resources, facilities and skills to cater for all your weed control needs.

To learn more about what we can offer, call us direct on 1300 RENCON (736 266) or get in touch with us here .

A common type of weed most homeowners and gardeners hate to see sprouting up on their turf is thistle. A tough weed to kill, the flower heads on thistles possess thousands upon thousands of thistle seeds, which allows them to spread at an exponential rate both above and below the soil. Knowing the best strategies for how to get rid of thistle will help you rid your garden and lawns of these pesky intruders before they completely take over.

When it comes to divesting your lawn of this noxious weed, several homemade thistle killer recipes use natural ingredients that are safe to use around pets and small children. Take care not to spray your desirable plants; however, since many of these weed control solutions will also take out any other vegetation in the area.

By following these helpful tips on how to kill thistle weeds, you’ll succeed in ridding your yard of these invasive plants and sparing your prized vegetable garden from annihilation no matter which method you choose.

  1. Killing Thistle Weeds with Ease
    • Hand Pull Young Bull Thistle
    • Basic Weed Killing Formula with Vinegar
    • Create a Homemade Thistle Killer with Gin
    • How to Kill Thistle Weeds with Roundup
    • Getting Rid of Thistle Using Lemon Juice

Killing Thistle Weeds with Ease

Before you begin, it’s essential to know that there are two main types of thistles and two distinct ways of attacking these weeds. The first is Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), also known as spear thistle, which is a biennial plant.

The other is Canadian Thistle (Cirsium arvense), a perennial. Noting these differences is vital when using proper extraction methods.

Hand Pull Young Bull Thistle

As a biennial, Bull Thistle forms a small rosette just above ground level in its first year of growth, before developing a much more complex root system in its later years. Easier to remove than Canada Thistle, Bull Thistle is by no means a weak weed.

The best way to remove this type of thistle is while they’re still young flower heads and haven’t had enough time to lay down as many roots.To do this, use a small shovel, hand rake, or even a fork to dig out the weed.

Wetting the soil is a great way to loosen up the earth before digging. Remove all parts of the plant, including any pieces of the tap root below the surface. Place the discarded weed into a garbage bag, then toss out when finished.

Basic Weed Killing Formula with Vinegar

Canadian Thistle, or any perennial thistles, exhibit a much more extensive root system than their biennial cousins. Because of this intricate design, it’s critical to remove new thistle as quickly as possible, though this often requires the aid of a weed killer to do so.

One great way to kill thistles is by using acetic acid. No, you don’t have to go out and buy this fancy-sounding acid, you probably already have this natural way to get rid of weeds in your pantry already. Acetic acid is nothing more than plain old white vinegar.

DIY Thistle Killing Recipe

  • ½ cup of salt
  • 8 cups of vinegar
  • ½ tsp of liquid dish soap

An organic poison ivy killer, vinegar is a great way to eliminate weeds on contact, especially when combined with other helpful ingredients like dish soap and salt. While higher concentrations of vinegar work best, such as horticultural vinegar with 20% acetic acid content, cider or white vinegar work just as well.

Spray the weed once a week until the plant dries out completely. After the plant withers and browns, removing it from the ground, roots and all, is a piece of cake.

Use this simple solution to get rid of creeping Charlie organically, too. Most weeds respond well to this recipe and die quickly. Pulling the dead plant up by hand ensures that it does not grow back in the same place.

Create a Homemade Thistle Killer with Gin

Similar to their biennial counterparts, perennial thistles spread by seeds, but they also expand by way of rhizomes, which includes their roots underneath. One excellent way to counteract this is by using a gin spray that attacks weeds at the roots, stopping their ability to spread new plants before you’ve even had a chance to finish weeding.

Gin-Based Thistle Weed Killer

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
  • 1 quart of water

In addition to being the perfect weapon for damaging root systems of thistle and other unwanted weeds in your yard or garden, this recipe is also a fantastic recipe for a natural weed killer. Once you’ve treated the area, remove the thistle by yanking it out at the roots.

You may also want to take preventative measures to keep thistle from growing back later in the same area or anywhere in the yard. Some ways you can do this are by mowing regularly or planting ground cover plants in gardens with taller plants so that thistle doesn’t have the opportunity to develop.

How to Kill Thistle Weeds with Roundup

Another great way to get rid of thistle is by using a store-bought weed killer like Roundup. Using chemical herbicides that require no mixing or preparation ahead of time, these commercial products eliminate common weeds like dandelions and thistle without a problem.

The activating ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which penetrates down into the earth to attack the plant roots.When using this thistle spray, coat every part of the thistle with the herbicide until it soaks deep into the soil.

If there are plants nearby that you don’t want to be affected by the Roundup spray, then shield them using a piece of cardboard. Allow for at least three days to pass before you notice results in thistle plants.

If they’ve started to wilt and brown, they are ready to be pulled from the ground. Prevent thistle from growing back near other plants by placing wood chips or mulch around them.

Getting Rid of Thistle Using Lemon Juice

Lemon juice acts similarly to vinegar when it comes to killing weeds. The high acidic level breaks down the composition of the plant, drying it out and preventing it from retaining moisture. This drying process works even faster on a hot, sunny day, so timing your weed control regimen to accommodate this will work to your advantage.

by Alec McClennan, on August 16, 2019

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

You’re heard the saying about a weed being any plant growing where it isn’t wanted? I can tolerate a variety of “weeds” in a lawn, but Thistles are not one of them. Thistles are frustrating, especially if you’re trying to have a kid friendly lawn. What kid wants to walk barefoot on a prickly thistle? Not mine. So, what options are there if I don’t want to use potentially dangerous chemicals on the lawn?

Step 1: Purchase an Organic Weed Killer

If you are trying to kill Thistle in your lawn, but want to avoid chemicals like 2,4-D, Weed Beater Fe is a good choice. Just know that you’ll need to make multiple applications during the Spring and Fall to have an effective result. Thistles have a deep root system, so the idea is to keep weakening the plant at the top, preventing it from thriving over time. You may never eliminate the Thistle organically, but you probably won’t eliminate it with chemicals either. The key is to stay on top of it. Weed Beater FE is easy to apply as you just have to spray the leaves well.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Another product you can try is Adios Organic Weed Killer, which has been shown to work particularly well on Thistles. This product has the ability to travel into the root system of the weed, giving it a much better chance to kill the entire plant, rather than just the top half.

One approach I’ve used over the years is injecting the product directly into the Thistle with a syringe. It’s a little unorthodox, but if you’re stuck between a Thistle and a chemical, it might just be worth a try for you. Fill the syringe with Adios by either sucking it directly out of the container or by pouring the Adios into a bowl and sucking it out of that. Insert the syringe needle into the stem of the Thistle as far as you can and slowly push in the plunger to release the Adios into the stem. If you pull the syringe out slightly as you press in the plunger, it will allow the Adios into the stem more easily. I usually do this to each weed twice. There are a variety of places online that sell syringes, such as this 10 mL syringe you can buy online. I’ve used the Adios Concentrate in my trials to date, but you might be able to get the same results with the ready to use version.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

While you will find a lot of other organic weed and grass killers out there, such as Burnout, which work great for killing the above ground portion of plants, they’re not as effective at killing the roots. Burnout is perfect for spraying on weeds in your mulch beds, on sidewalks and in cracks, but it isn’t ideal for spraying in the lawn.

Step 2: Use the Weed Out Lawn Tool for Thistles

Another method for dealing with Thistles is to just pull them out using our Weed Out Lawn Weeding Tool or Weed Out Pro Lawn Weeding Tool. They are both super easy to use and make pulling out weeds in your lawn fun! Two of the most obvious perks of this tool are that you never have to bend over to pull out the Thistle and you don’t have to touch it’s prickly leaves.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Step 3: Mow the Lawn

Mowing should cut the top of the Thistle off, exposing the stem and weakening its ability to thrive. If your mower is not successful in removing the top of the weed, you can break the top off with your hand, heavy glove recommended. Just try to weed it without pulling out the entire root. Then apply your Organic Weed Control of choice. It will take some time to see progress. If the Thistles don’t seem affected after a week, try a reapplication. None of these approaches are a magic bullet, but they can really be effective and help you achieve less Thistles without using chemicals.

More Information about How to Kill Thistles Without Chemicals

Thistles have a very invasive root system, which is one reason why they are so difficult to eliminate. The ideal time of year to treat Thistles is late Fall, when they are pulling all their energy into their roots to prepare for Winter. Taking advantage of this seasonal function will help facilitate the absorption of the Organic Weed Control products you use.

Good Luck! Have any other suggestions? Feel free to share!

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

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Thistle plants come from the Asteraceae plant family and include several varieties. Considered an unwanted weed by most gardeners, thistles can be controlled with homemade herbicides, uprooting and prevention. Thistle plants grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Harmful Thistle Plants

Thistle is a perennial flowering plant with sharp prickles all over the leaves and other areas of the plant. There are many varieties of thistle plants, and not all varieties are harmful to your garden. The Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is usually the most noxious. Canada thistle has small flowers and long triangular-shaped leaves with pointy tips on the end. This variety of thistle grows by spreading, giving it the nickname creeping thistle.

Homemade Herbicide

A homemade herbicide consisting of vinegar and salt may be effective at killing unwanted thistle plants. The vinegar needs to contain at least 20 percent acetic acid to be effective at killing weeds. Filling a spray bottle with this type of vinegar plus 3 tablespoons of table salt makes an effective homemade thistle herbicide. Saturating the unwanted plants once a week with this mixture helps control the problem. Be cautious about spraying plants you would like to keep with this mixture, because it will kill them as well.


To fully rid your garden of thistle, uprooting the plants may be the best option. Because thistle has sharp prickles, make sure you’ve covered exposed skin to prevent injury. It is also best to wear gloves when removing thistles. Their roots are strong and resistant, so it is best to first loosen the root system by digging around the plant. Make sure every part of the root is fully removed, or a new thistle plant will develop.


Once thistle has been killed or removed from your garden, use a few homemade prevention methods to keep it from coming back. Weeds won’t grow if they don’t have light, so block the problem areas with some type of homemade mulch. Mulch is a material used to cover soil. Many household items work well as a mulch, such as newspaper or cardboard. Garden waste, such as pine needles and wood chips, also work well for mulching.

  • Fine Gardening: Six Tips for Effective Weed Control
  • Mother Earth News: The 10 Worst Garden Weeds
  • Mother Earth News: Weed Control Strategies
  • University of Missouri Extension: Thistles and Thistlelike Plants of Missouri

Grace Wathen is a certified yoga, Pilates and raw nutrition instructor. Her dedication to health and wellness motivated her to organize and build several community gardens in Utah, Oregon and Nevada. She has been sharing her expertise on the above topics through online publishers since 2007.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Perhaps one of the most noxious weeds in the home garden, Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) has a reputation for being impossible to get rid of. We won’t lie to you, Canada thistle control is difficult and requires a significant amount of effort to be successful, but the effort you put into controlling Canada thistle will pay off when you have a garden that is free from this annoying weed. Let’s look at how to identify Canada thistle and how to get rid of Canada thistle.

Canada Thistle Identification

Canada thistle is a perennial weed that has soft green, deeply lobed, spear-like leaves and these leaves have sharp barbs on them. If allowed to go to flower, the flower is a purple pom-pom shape that will be produced in clusters at the top of the plant. If the flower is allowed to go to seed, the flower will become white and fluffy, much like a dandelion seed head.

How to Get Rid of Canada Thistle

When starting a Canada thistle control program, it is best to first understand what makes Canada thistle such a difficult weed to control. Canada thistle grows on an extensive root system that can go quite deep into the ground, and the plant can grow back from even a small piece of root. Due to this, there is no one and done method of Canada thistle eradication. Whether you are controlling Canada thistle with chemicals or organically, you will need to do so repeatedly.

The first step towards getting rid of Canada thistle is making your yard and garden less friendly to it. While Canada thistle will grow anywhere, it grows best in soil with low fertility and open areas. Improving your soil’s fertility will weaken the Canada thistle and help desired plants grow better and, therefore, make them better able to compete with the Canada thistle. We recommend having your soil tested at your local extension service.

Chemical Canada Thistle Control

Canada thistle can be killed with weed killers. The best time to apply these is on sunny days when the temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees F. (18-29 C.).

Since many weed killers are non-selective, they will kill anything they touch, so it is best not to use these on windy days. If you need to treat Canada thistle where it is close to wanted plants, you might be better off using a paintbrush to paint the weed killer on the Canada thistle.

Check back weekly and reapply the weed killer as soon as you see the Canada thistle reappear.

Organic Canada Thistle Control

Controlling Canada thistle organically is done with a sharp eye and an even sharper pair of scissors. Find the base of the Canada thistle plant and simply snip it off at the base. Do not pull Canada thistle out, as this can split the root, which causes two Canada thistles to grow back.

Check the location weekly and snip off any new growth that you may see. The idea is to force the weed to use up its energy reserves by re-growing but removing the new leaves before the Canada thistle has a chance to build its energy reserves back up.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are more environmentally friendly.

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There are several types of thistle weeds that feature prickly stems and leaves. Most thistles are members of the aster family (Asteraceae). You will commonly find these pesky weeds in pastures and along roadsides. Use Roundup as a thistle spray to help control these aggressive weeds.

Best Herbicide for Thistles

Roundup for Lawns is the recommended product for controlling thistles in your lawn, advises Roundup. While you can apply Roundup at any time, you will achieve the best control of the weeds if you apply the herbicide when the thistles are small and young. Monitor your lawn and apply Roundup as a spot treatment thistle spray as soon as you see new thistles emerge.

Roundup for Lawns is available as a concentrate or as a ready-to-use product. Whichever Roundup product you choose, be sure to review the product label and follow all of the package instructions. If you are using the concentrated product, first dilute the concentrate at a ratio of 4 ounces of Roundup in 1 gallon of water, advises Roundup. This amount should treat 500 square feet of lawn.

Spray Roundup as a spot treatment by spraying individual thistles. Roundup for Lawns can also be applied to most lawns as a broadcast treatment, waiting 14 days between applications, advises Roundup.

Considerations for Using Roundup

The active ingredients in Roundup for Lawns include the selective herbicides MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba and sulfentrazone. This means it kills many types of weeds, including multiple species of thistle, and it is safe for many species of grass. Check the product label to ensure it is safe to use on your lawn. Roundup also offers products containing the nonselective herbicide glyphosate. These products will kill thistles but will also kill your lawn and other desired plants.

Use safety precautions when using Roundup herbicide. The herbicide can irritate your eyes, so wear eye protection and flush your eyes with water if the herbicide splashes into your eyes. Contact poison control or your doctor for treatment. Keep children and pets off the lawn until the herbicide dries.

Apply the herbicide when temperatures are below 90 degrees Fahrenheit and over 45 degrees. Avoid spraying the herbicide on windy days when the herbicide can drift onto desired plants or into waterways where it can eradicate invertebrates and fish in the water.

Control Thistles in Your Landscape

Using herbicides is an effective way to control thistles in your landscape but be sure to take other steps to stop them from returning. Thistles are less likely to grow in a lush, thick lawn. Make sure your lawn is healthy and receiving proper care, including regular irrigation, fertilizer and mowing.

Mowing not only maintains a healthy lawn but prevents the thistle flowers from going to seed and developing a stronger root system. You can also pull small thistles by hand, but you’ll need to make sure to get the entire root so the weed doesn’t return, advises Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Manage pasture weeds as aggressively as you do weeds in corn and soybeans, says Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri weed scientist. He offers the following five tips.

1. Know them.

Start by identifying your pasture weeds, says Bradley. “We have a smartphone app and a booklet to help,” he says. (Order the weed booklet or download the app at extension.missouri.edu/p/ipm1031.)

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. “Every pasture had horse nettle, and almost every pasture had common ragweed,” says Bradley. “Ragweed had the highest density, at an average of over 5,000 per acre.”

Other common weeds identified were nutsedge, fleabane, yellow foxtail, and dandelion.

2. Mow them.

It may be a low-cost option to reduce weed populations, says Bradley. Some herbicide programs can cost up to $30 per acre, and mowing has the bonus benefit of little harm to desired forages. Make sure you mow weeds ahead of seed shedding.

One research project showed that ironweed, found in 72% of pastures in Trower’s survey, can be 80% to 90% controlled with three timely mowings per year over two years. “That’s good control,” says Bradley. “All you may have to do after that is some spot treatment.”

3. Fix fertility.

Trower’s survey found that 80% of the pastures were low or very low in soil phosphorus (P) and 37% were low in potassium (K). Average soil pH was 5.8, also very low.

The survey correlated pasture fertility to weed density. As fertility moved closer to ideal, weed density declined. Each one-unit increase in soil pH (going from 5.8 to 6.8 pH, for example) resulted in 4,100 fewer total weeds per acre, and 2,454 fewer common ragweed plants.

P and K level increases also resulted in fewer weeds.

4. Time herbicides correctly.

If you use herbicides to control pasture weeds, carefully think through the timing, says Bradley. For instance, metsulfuron-containing herbicides (Chaparral) can give excellent weed control but also can suppress tall fescue yield if used in the spring.

Weed-growth habits are also important, as herbicides are more effective when plants are small and actively growing.

For instance, 43% of pasture weeds are annual broadleaves, and they tend to peak in June, July, and August. Foxtails usually emerge in July and August.

5. Simplify.

“Identify the one weed you want to control the most and concentrate on it,” says Bradley. “You may just end up controlling some others in the process.”

Killer weeds

Some weeds need to be controlled because they’re poisonous to animals, says Kevin Bradley.

  • Perilla mint. Many animal deaths, at least in Missouri, from poison weeds involve this one. It tends to grow in shady areas and can be controlled easily with most pasture herbicides when actively growing.
  • Poison hemlock. It moves from roadside ditches into pastures, says Bradley. A low rate of ingestion can kill livestock. Several herbicide options, including Grazon and Remedy, can control hemlock.
  • Nodding spurge. It, too, is on the increase. Metsulfuron gives excellent control at emergence in July and August, and 2,4-D and dicamba give good control.
  • Horse nettle and thistles. Not poisonous, these prickly weeds are very undesirable nonetheless. Several chemical options will control horse nettle at the prebloom stage. Musk and bull thistles are best controlled at the early rosette stage, says Bradley.
  • Canada thistle. Mostly seen north of Missouri, it is best controlled with prebloom applications of Grazon, Milestone, or Tordon products, he says.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is a plant that is related to the sunflower family but has none of the charm and beauty of those sunny-nodding flower heads. It is a prickly biennial that grows freely in disturbed soils, pastures, ditches, roadsides and unmanaged spaces. The plant has colonized much of North America and is a pest plant in the garden and in agriculture. Bull thistle control can be manual or chemical, with an emphasis on seed control. Learn how to get rid of bull thistle and prevent this prolific weed from taking over your garden.

What is Bull Thistle?

Bull thistle plants are native to Western Asia, North America and parts of Europe. What is bull thistle? It’s a free-seeding weed with a prickly demeanor and rapid spread. The plant has the ability to produce around 5,000 seeds in a season. These bur-like seeds cling to animals, pant legs, machinery, etc. and get spread around with abandon. For this reason, bull thistle removal is a priority among farmers and meticulous gardeners.

Bull thistle starts life as a spiny leaved rosette. The hairy, prickly leaves overwinter to develop stems and branches of up to 2 feet (61 cm.) in spring. It has a deep taproot, which makes manual pulling a challenge.

In summer the plant grows a scented flower that resembles a spiny globe topped with fringed pink petals. The flowers are produced at the ends of the tangled stem growth and last for several weeks before producing tiny striped seeds capped with white downy hairs. These attach themselves to any object that brushes against them.

How to Get Rid of Bull Thistle Manually

The stubborn plant can arise like Lazarus from the ashes if hand pulling leaves behind any of the root. Casual removal with this method is likely to leave behind the genesis of a plant in spite of the foliar amputation.

Digging the plant out with a spade or hori hori is the best approach to mechanical bull thistle control. Take care to remove the entire fleshy taproot for best results. In order to reduce the seed population, cut off the seed head and tuck it into a sack to keep the fluffy seeds from dispersing.

Other Types of Bull Thistle Removal

In agricultural situations, the introduction of a bull thistle seed head gall fly has been proposed as a biological agent. However, it has been shown to have limited effectiveness. There is also a weevil that is an effective control agent, but it can also affect desired thistle species.

Chemical treatment is most effective on the first year rosettes of bull thistle plants. The types of sprays used in agricultural scenarios are dicamba, glyphosate or 2,4D.

Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Specific brand names or commercial products or services do not imply endorsement. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

For widespread control, mowing twice per year has been effective in reducing the population by preventing seed heads. Of course, your battle with the plant will only be as effective as your neighbors’ because of the travel ability of the downy seeds.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

If you view tumbling tumbleweed as an icon of the American West, you are not alone. It’s been portrayed that way in movies. But, in fact, tumbleweed’s real name is Russian thistle (Salsola tragus syn. Kali tragus) and it is very, very invasive. For information about Russian thistle weeds, including tips on how to get rid of Russian thistle, read on.

About Russian Thistle Weeds

Russian thistle is a bushy annual forb that many Americans know as tumbleweed. It gets to three feet (1 m.) tall. Mature Russian thistle weeds break off at ground level and tumble across open lands, hence the common name associated with the plant. Since one Russian thistle can produce 250,000 seeds, you can imagine that the tumbling action spreads the seeds far and wide.

The Russian thistle was brought to this country (South Dakota) by Russian immigrants. It is thought to have been mixed in contaminated flaxseed. It is a real problem in the American West since it accumulates toxic levels of nitrates that kill cattle and sheep using it for forage.

Managing Tumbleweeds

Managing tumbleweeds is difficult. The seeds tumble off the thistle and germinate even in very dry areas. Russian thistle weeds grow rapidly, making control of Russian thistle daunting.

Burning, while a good solution for many other invasive plants, doesn’t work well for Russian thistle control. These weeds thrive on disturbed, burned out sites, and seeds spread to them as soon as mature thistles tumble over in the wind, which means other forms of Russian thistle control are necessary.

Control of Russian thistle can be accomplished manually, by chemicals or by planting crops. If the thistle plants are young, you can do a good job of managing tumbleweeds by simply pulling the plants up by their roots before they seed. Mowing can be a helpful means of Russian thistle control if done just as the plant blooms.

Some herbicides are effective against Russian thistle. These include 2,4-D, dicamba, or glyphosate. While the first two are selective herbicides that generally don’t injure grasses, glyphosate injures or kills most vegetation it comes into contact with, so it is not a safe means of control of Russian thistle.

The best control of Russian thistle does not involve chemicals. It is replanting infested areas with other plants. If you keep fields full of healthy crops, you prevent the establishment of Russian thistle.

Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Specific brand names or commercial products or services do not imply endorsement. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Stickers Are My Enemy! If you have stickers or sand burrs in your yard I’m sure you feel my pain. And when I say feel my pain, I mean it literally. I had had a little piece of the sticker embedded in my hand for months before it finally stopped hurting and went away. When we first moved onto our acreage we noticed a lot of stickers. There were so many other projects to take care of that we didn’t even worry about them the first year. In year two we realized that we had a severe problem that we needed to take care of before it got worse.

Since our lawnmower didn’t have a bagger on it, we were spreading sticker seeds everywhere each time we mowed. That combined with the fact that we weren’t treating the stickers with any weedkiller caused an increase in the population every year. I didn’t want to spray any chemicals, so we resorted to pulling them. This method worked well in the areas that had bermudagrass. The healthy bermuda has been effective in keeping the stickers out. Unfortunately, we don’t have grass on most of our property and the stickers and weeds are winning the fight.

The Sticker Battle Plan

  1. Pull them out at the roots – This works well if you have sporadic sticker plants
  2. Burn the entire plant – Worked OK, however, we noticed that they came back bigger the 2nd year
  3. Spray with chemicals – Worked the best but the tradeoff is that you are using chemicals
  4. Pick up seed heads that have fallen off of the plant – A must to avoid re-germination


I used to go out every morning for about 2 hours to pull stickers. It was effective but time-consuming. I realized there was no way that I would ever win the battle against the stickers. I would only recommend choosing this method if you have a small area of stickers and if you pull them as soon as you begin to see them produce seeds. Below is an affiliate link to the tool that I use to save my back from having to bend over.


We have burned the entire plant for two years in a row. The first year we spot burned in early summer and they didn’t come back for the rest of the year. We thought that was going to be the way to get rid of them without having to use chemical weed killer. However, the next year they came back and seemed to be bigger.

We heard from several people that it takes seven years to completely kill off so we thought we would continue to burn them every year for seven years. The problem with that plan was that in year two we burned the stickers and all of the weeds and grass surrounding them. With nothing to compete with the stickers came back with a vengeance in year three!

In hindsight, I think that adding some grass seed after we burned the area would have been a better plan. Then there would have been some healthy vegetation to choke out the stickers the next year.


Spraying chemicals is the least appealing method to me, but we had to try it. We tried Round-Up and it worked ok, but we have an extensive area that is affected. Our neighbor used Pastora last year and said he didn’t have ANY stickers this year. So I reluctantly decided to use it this year. We don’t have any chickens or bees on our acreage right now so I figured if we were going to try it this would be the time to do it.

Although the label says that there are no grazing restrictions I don’t think that I can recommend using this product if you have any grazing animals that will come into contact with the sprayed area. But if you are treating an area that you can keep animals off of this seems to have worked like it said it would. Pastora is a potent chemical. You need to read all of the restrictions and directions to decide if it can and should be used on your property. You can read the Pastora label here.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

We purchased a bagger for our zero turn mower last year and have been bagging most of the stickers rather than scattering them. Two weeks ago we mowed the area closest to the house. Then sprayed the Pastora according to the directions. We were amazed that we didn’t see any stickers re-growing. The label said that you could apply it again in 2 weeks so we repeated the process yesterday.

A few weeks later we did see a few places that the stickers were starting to grow, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that the second application will take care of them. If this works, then we will have won the battle (on the front 5 acres). The stickers aren’t as thick as this on the back 5 acres because we don’t mow it as often so we haven’t spread them as much. We also didn’t burn out there so the stickers are competing with the field grass. We will be preparing that area for a fall planting of wildflowers soon.


To break the cycle, we needed to pick up the seeds that have dropped over the years. Our first attempt was very successful. We had an 8’x10′ shag rug that we chained to the Mule and drug around. It picked up thousands of stickers. Next, we got some old carpet and tried to pick up more. It was a tightly woven house carpet and we picked up about four stickers. Too bad we couldn’t travel back to the 70’s and pick up some shag carpet.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

We came across The Sticker Picker during our research online to find out how other people have had success. It is the most wonderful invention! We were able to fill 3 sleeves with stickers in 1 afternoon. Visit their website www.thestickerpicker.net for more information and to find a distributor near you (I am not affiliated with this company and will not receive any monetary compensation). They have two sizes to fit your need. We got the medium with replacement sleeves.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Me vs. Stickers

I feel like I have won the battle but probably not the war. But I know that it will be a fight to their death because I am NOT giving up. I have learned some valuable information over the last several years so I feel like I am better equipped to get rid of the stickers. The key is to stop the spreading of the seeds and to provide healthy grass or wildflowers to choke the stickers out. I’ll keep you updated on the progress and give you more in-depth information about each method we used.
10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Burdock weeds are troublesome plants that grow in pastures, along ditches and roadsides, and in many other disturbed areas across the United States. The weed is recognized by its large, oval or triangular “elephant-ear” leaves. The upper surface of the dark green leaves may be smooth or hairy and the lower leaf surface is typically wooly and pale green. The plant bolts in the second year and can reach heights of 3 to 10 feet (1-3 m.). The small flowers, which are numerous, may be lavender, white, purple, or pink.

Why are burdock weeds so troublesome, and why is burdock management so critical? Read on to find out how to get rid of this weed.

Reasons for Controlling Common Burdock

It’s extremely difficult to eradicate burdock. Seeds spread quickly when the seed heads dry and break, scattering thousands of seeds far and wide. The weeds also spread when the prickly burs catch a ride on passing people or animals.

Some people may experience unpleasant allergic reactions when the bristles contact the skin. The burs can cause real problems for livestock, resulting in eye infections, skin problems, and mouth sores.

The plant can also host root rot, powdery mildew, and other diseases that can spread to agricultural plants.

How to Kill Burdock

Digging, hand pulling, or plowing can be effective ways of controlling common burdock when the weeds are small. These techniques don’t work well on larger plants because it’s difficult to remove the entire taproot. You can mow taller plants, but mowing must be done before the plant has bloomed or you will simply spread the seeds.

A number of herbicides are useful for controlling common burdock, including dicamba, 2,4-D, picloram, glyphosate, and others. Unfortunately, burdock often grows in difficult, hard-to-access areas. Manual removal is often the only recourse as well as the most environmentally friendly.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Sumac refers to approximately 35 species in the genus Rhus, a member of the Anacardiaceae flowering plant family. Sumac grows in various parts of the world, including temperate climates in Eastern North America.

Invasive sumac can thrive in various soil types and has low moisture requirements. Since it spreads both by seed and new shoots, sumac can easily spread and often grow quickly. Stringent control and eradication measures are often necessary to minimize the spread of invasive sumac and prevent significant environmental damage.

How to Identify Invasive Sumac

Invasive sumac comes in a variety of different species — however, you can generally identify sumac based on the following traits:

  • Red foliage: Both smooth and staghorn sumac — the two most common variations — are easily identifiable by their bright red foliage. In the fall, sumac will also produce a cluster of deep red fruit.
  • Height: Most types of sumac grow into a tree or shrub ranging between 5 and 20 feet in height. Larger sumac trees will often grow long and slender branches that tilt downward.
  • Double rows of leaves: Poison sumac plants generally feature stems with two parallel rows of leaves. The red or red-brown stems usually hold between 6 and 12 leaves, plus a single leaf at the end.

Common Sumac Species in the US

Sumac can either be a dioecious shrub or a small tree. Ten of the most common sumac species across the United States include:

  1. Smooth: One of the most common native sumac plants is the Smooth sumac. Found across the northeastern U.S., smooth sumac features shiny green pinnate leaves that turn orange or red in the fall.
  2. Staghorn : The largest of North American sumac is the staghorn sumac, which can grow up to 25 feet tall, often in the form of an open shrub or a small tree.
  3. Evergreen : Often used to create a hedge, the fast-growing evergreen sumac is most commonly found in the southwest U.S.
  4. Fragrant : Dense and sweet-scented, fragrant sumac grows low to the ground and often forms thickets. Fragrant sumac is common across Eastern North America.
  5. Lemonade berry : This sumac is identifiable from other sumac by its simple leaves. It also has a high fire resistance and is used as a hillside stabilizer in wildfire-prone areas across southern California.
  6. Littleleaf : It is a multi-branched shrub that reaches up to 15 feet tall — is known for its small pinnate leaves and white flower blooms.
  7. Prairie : As a medium to large shrub, prairie sumac is found across North America. Prairie sumac is sometimes planted because of its attractive autumnal colors.
  8. Skunkbush : Also known as stink bush and scented sumac — emits a strong smell when crushed. Ranging from 2 to 12 feet tall, skunkbush is sometimes planted for windbreak or erosion control.
  9. Sugar : Native to California and Arizona, it features large green leaves with white flower clusters.

Land Damage Caused by Invasive Sumac

Invasive sumac causes damage to the surrounding environment by growing quickly and aggressively, threatening local ecosystems and putting a strain on native plants and animals. Examples of environmental damage caused by sumac include:

Destroyed Vegetation

If gone unchecked, sumac can quickly outgrow its area and overtake and displace other vegetation. While the roots are relatively shallow and may only reach about 10 inches underground, many sumac species tend to spread rapidly. Sumac aggressively reproduces through seeds and grows in dense thickets, cutting off other plants’ access to vital nutrients.

Damaging Shade

Another cause of sumac damage is the shade produced by an extensive patch of trees or shrubs. Sumac growth can block rain and sunlight and begin to change the ecosystem’s soil chemistry, temperature, and light levels. This can cause existing plants and small shrubs in the area to wither. By blocking the sunlight, sumac trees may also prevent new plants and vegetation from growing.

Displaced Wildlife

Many species of sumac naturally attract wildlife due to edible berries, sweet scents, and attractive foliage. When sumac grows rampant and begins to destroy vegetation and land, it can disrupt the surrounding wildlife’s natural ecosystem. Without the vegetation they depend on for survival, animals native to the region may have to look elsewhere for food. Sumac can also replace an animal’s natural habitat, forcing them to find other areas to live.

How to Stop Sumac Trees From Spreading

If you’ve spotted the telltale signs of invasive sumac, it’s important to act quickly. There are three primary methods for getting rid of invasive sumac:

  • Chemical Control: Since sumac tends to produce colonies of shoots from small sections of roots, it can be difficult to remove via cutting or other mechanical methods alone. Applying a chemical or herbicide can help eliminate invasive sumac.
  • Fire: Burning is another method for getting rid of sumac. Fire will kill the buds along the stem and the growing shoots that are above ground. However, it won’t reach the underground buds, creating a temporary solution for preventing sumac damage.
  • Mechanical Control: Mechanical sumac tree removal is a highly efficient method for managing overgrowth, no matter how it’s growing. Eradicating sumac through mechanical means requires chopping or mulching trees down as close to ground level as possible, removing saplings by hand, and mowing any root sprouts that break the surface. Mulching, using a disc or drum mulcher, is a quick and effective method for taking on sumac. Once the trees are mulched, you can then use a stump grinder to remove the remaining stump.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently Photo Credit: http://www.bobthompson.me/2018/01/november-2017-including-vacation-in.htmlhttps://e360.yale.edu/features/small-pests-big-problems-the-global-spread-of-bark-beetles

Discover Invasive Sumac Removal Solutions at Diamond Mowers

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Diamond Mowers offers a wide variety of attachments to efficiently manage sumac overgrowth. These attachments are compatible with compact heavy equipment like skid-steers.

Contact us to learn about our product offerings and receive more helpful tips for stopping invasive sumac.


Well-Known Member

I took over some stables & land this winter. Hadn’t been managed great so i knew i needed to do some work. What is the best way to get rid of buttercups permanently? I’d rather do the job properly 1st time of course i realise you can’t get 100% gone but I’d rather start as i mean to go on rather than using a quick fix !

Thanks in advance

Exploding Chestnuts

Well-Known Member


Well-Known Member

They are a pesky nuisance: we spent a lot of money spraying them here, made not a jot of difference, ditto topping.

They seem to like pasture that is grazed by horses; but not found so easily where sheep are grazed long term – which I guess gives the solution basically, i.e. remove the horses and graze with sheep for about a year!

Appreciate this isn’t always possible though – so probably not at all helpful.

Don’t know what to suggest, we’ve spent a helluva lot of time and money trying to get rid of them (and had a useless contractor to boot, who didn’t do the relevant things at the correct time).


Well-Known Member

Exploding Chestnuts

Well-Known Member

The Fuzzy Furry

Resident irriot

I used Headland polo in late May in 2013 on 50% of my paddocks – all of which had not been sprayed for a goodly number of years and were a sea of yellow annually.
The 4 paddocks that were done with the contractor using tractor & boom arms had none last year and only a few this year.
The tiny diet paddock which was done with back-pack had about a 50% return last year and around 70% return from ‘normal’ this year.

The 4 remaining paddocks which were not done have been razed by hand or topper & have been back as usual.

Am planning on doing a’commercial’ spray again next year over as much as possible


Well-Known Member

Dry Rot

Well-Known Member

You will get some very misleading advice on a horsey forum! (Sorry, but it is true). You need to go to somewhere like here — http://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php — where the professionals hang out or speak to your agrichemical supplier.

I have learnt that.

Lime makes little or no difference. There are plenty of buttercups happily growing on chalk (i.e. lime) soil.

Buttercups need to be sprayed when flowering and probably for several (3?) years in succession rather than “every three years”. Some weeds need to be sprayed on emergence, some when they are flowering. Buttercups and thistles are two of the latter.

The labels on herbicides can be wrong.

Compaction and poor drainage encourages buttercups, so land grazed by horses suits them as hooves compact the soil and damage rhizomes and both encourage propogation. The seeds will more readily take on bare ground, so ground cut up by hooves.

Cross grazing with sheep may hoover up some of the worm larvae and eggs but it won’t do much for buttercups.

Just my conclusions from farming here for over 30 years, from speaking to agrochemical suppliers, and listening to advice from other farmers. Take it or leave it as you will.


Well-Known Member


Well-Known Member

My land has been plagued by buttercups for the last few years. We had it ph tested and limed about 5 years ago. The ph has been tested twice since, and is around 6.0 now, whuch is very slightly acidic but ok. More lime would make the land too alkaline. The chap who did the testing reckons that liming alone will not clear the land of established buttercups.

Got a local contractor in this year who sprayed 5+ acres with Headland Relay using a quad and boom sprayer. Results look very promising, the sprayed acreage is growing hay now and would normally be a sea of yellow, underpinned by clover and plantains. Instead, we have grass!! He charged £80 plus the chemicals, which were another £180. Complete bargain. Only thing it it didn’t zap was common hogweed, which I went round later and spot sprayed with Grazon Pro.

We’re expecting to spray again sometime after the hay is cut, and also next spring, as my land was so infested that it will take a while to get rid of all weeds. However, it all looks very promising now.

I will be getting some bespoke fertiliser made up to put on the autumn, customised to my land’s requirements. The ph and soil testing, plus advice re fertiliser composition, cost £20. Ideally it would have been fertilised in the spring, but I wasn’t organised and ran out of time.

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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a medicinal herb that grows throughout the world. Unfortunately, it can be quite invasive, and getting rid of stinging nettle may be challenging. There are several options to kill nettles, including manually removing them or using chemical herbicides to kill the plants. Stinging nettle grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 10.

Culture and Growth Habit

Stinging nettle grows in moist, well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. It does not thrive in full shade or drought conditions, advises North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. If you live in a dry climate and the nettle has spread to an area where you irrigate, stopping irrigation may help to weaken or kill the nettle plants.

You may often find the plant growing in meadows, ditches, woodland clearings and near streams. Teas made from the plant are used to treat conditions such as hay fever, arthritis, gout and diabetes. Topical creams help treat joint pain, eczema and dandruff. However, if you aren’t harvesting the plant for medicinal uses, it can quickly spread to unwanted areas. Some locations classify stinging nettle as a noxious weed.

The plant reproduces and spreads in two ways. First, it goes to seed easily after flowers bloom in the fall. Additionally, it spreads by rhizome. When left uncontrolled, stinging nettle colonies can be extremely dense and can spread to cover more than an acre. Once you eradicate the nettle, consider planting grass, as the nettle can’t compete with healthy grass, advises Thurston County Environmental Health Division.

Getting Rid of Stinging Nettle

Manually removing nettles is the most effective and safest method of control; however, it is also the most labor-intensive method. Mowing the nettles to the ground will not kill the plants. It can help to thin them out, however, as it limits growth and prevents them from going to seed.

Instead, dig up the nettles including the roots. You can use a hoe or shovel, or if you prefer, you can pull them out by hand. The Army Public Health Center recommends doing this when the soil is still wet, as the plants will be easier to remove. Dispose of all plant parts since any that are left behind in the soil will likely grow back. Watch the area and remove any new nettle plants that emerge.

Manual control methods are not without risk. The leaves and stems of the plant cause contact dermatitis and intense burning and itching where it contacts your skin. Be sure to wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes and gloves. Calamine lotion or corticosteroid creams can help treat symptoms of contact.

Chemical Control Measures

Chemical herbicides may be effective but may not be the best option for stinging nettle control in pastures if you have animals grazing in the area. Glyphosate, 2,4-D or imazapyr herbicides may effectively eradicate nettles, advises the Army Public Health Center. Follow the package instructions for application and be sure to heed all safety warnings.

There are several issues to consider when opting to use these herbicides. First, they may kill desired plants if you accidentally spray them or if the wind blows the spray. This is especially problematic if the nettle is in your pasture or yard, as the herbicide will also kill your grass.

There is also a potential danger to people. Although glyphosate alone is considered to have low toxicity, other ingredients in the herbicide can cause it to be extremely toxic to children and pets, notes the National Pesticide Information Center.

Things You Will Need

Herbicide containing glyphosate, 2,4-D or imazapyr

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Most of us have heard or know of stinging nettle. It is common in yards and can become quite the nuisance. But for those unsure of what it is or how to get rid of it, information about stinging nettle and its control is especially important.

What is Stinging Nettle?

Stinging nettle is a member of the large family Urticaceae and is a decidedly unpleasant herbaceous perennial. As the name implies, stinging nettle has the capacity to irritate and blister when it comes into contact with skin. The most common variety (Urtica dioica procera) is native to North America, being prolific in California and other areas of the western United States, and is referred to by a number of common names for its two most widespread subspecies.

Stinging nettle thrives in damp, nutrient rich soils and can be found anywhere from pastures, orchards, overgrown yards, roadsides, stream banks, ditches and even at the edges of fields or wooded lots in partial shade. Stinging nettle is less likely to be found in the desert, elevations over 9,800 feet (3,000 m.) and in areas of salinity.

Information About Stinging Nettle

Controlling stinging nettle is a virtuous pursuit, due to its painful effect on human skin. The leaves and stems of stinging nettles are finely covered with thin bristles that lodge in the offended skin, leaving red patches that itch and burn — sometimes for up to 12 hours. These hairs have an internal structure much like a tiny hypodermic needle which plunges neurotransmitter chemicals, such as acetylcholine and histamine, under the skin, causing the reaction known as ‘irritant dermatitis.’

A full sized stinging nettle plant may be 3-10 feet (0.9-3 m.) tall, on occasion even reaching up to 20 feet (6 m.) in height. It has an angular stem branching outwards from the base. Both the stem and leaf surface have non-stinging and stinging hairs. This perennial weed blooms from March to September with insignificant whitish green flowers at the base of the leaf stalks and fruit that is tiny and egg shaped.

How to Kill Stinging Nettle Plants

Controlling stinging nettle can be a lesson in futility, as the plant is not only a prolific grower, but also springs from underground rhizomes and is easily propagated via wind-dispersed seeds. Tilling or cultivating an area that is heavily populated may spread the rhizomes, increasing the colony instead of getting rid of stinging nettle. Again, stinging nettle control is difficult, as these underground horizontal root stems can spread 5 feet (1.5 m.) or more in a season, continually re-growing from the rhizomes, even when broken apart.

So, you may wonder how to kill stinging nettle plants then? Stinging nettle may be removed by hand, taking care to protect the skin with gloves and other appropriate attire. Be sure to remove the underground rhizomes completely or the weed will continue to come back. Close mowing or “weed whacking” can retard growth as well.

Otherwise, when controlling stinging nettle, it may be necessary to resort to chemical herbicides such as isoxaben, oxadiazon, and oxyfluorfen, which are only available to licensed pesticide applicators.

Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Specific brand names or commercial products or services do not imply endorsement. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

While children may make wishes on the fuzzy heads of dandelions, gardeners and lawn enthusiasts tend to curse the cheery yellow flowers of dandelions when they appear. And for good reason. Dandelions will push out grass and other plants, as well as sapping water and nutrients away from surrounding plants. Dandelion control also tends to be difficult due to their fluffy and far floating seeds. But the answer to the question of how to get rid of dandelions is simply a matter of thoroughness and patience.

How to Get Rid of Dandelions

There are several methods for dandelion control. All methods for dandelion removal must be performed every year. Due to the fact that dandelion seeds can travel several miles on the wind, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have permanent removal of this weed from a garden or lawn.

How to Kill Dandelions with Herbicide

There are two basic types of herbicide that can be used on dandelions. The first is a selective broadleaf herbicide. A broadleaf herbicide will only kill broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions. A broadleaf herbicide is good for killing dandelions in lawns, as the herbicide will kill the dandelions and not the grass.

The other kind of effective dandelion herbicide is a non-selective herbicide. Non-selective means that the herbicide will kill any plant that it comes in contact with. Non-selective herbicide is effective for spot dandelion removal, such as killing dandelions in flower beds and in walkways.

When using any herbicide for dandelion control, it will work best to apply the herbicide before the dandelion has developed flowers. Once dandelion flowers have emerged, the dandelion is far more resistant to herbicides and the herbicide, broadleaf or non-selective, will not be as effective.

Hand Digging for Dandelion Removal

The most effective, but also the most time consuming, method for dandelion control is hand digging them. Hand digging should be done in the spring, right when the first dandelion seedlings appear. Special “dandelion pullers” or similar tools can be bought to help with hand digging.

When hand digging as a way of how to kill dandelions, it is important to remember that you must remove the entire taproot of the dandelion. Dandelion taproots can run deep.

Because dandelion taproots grow deep, it is unlikely that you will kill every dandelion in your yard during the first round of hand digging. Every few weeks, hand dig any dandelions that re-emerge from their taproots.

Using a Pre-Emergent for Dandelion Control

A pre-emergent is a chemical that can be applied your lawn or flower bed to prevent seeds from germinating. When using a pre-emergent for dandelion control, it must be applied in late winter in order to be effective. The pre-emergent will prevent the dandelion seeds from germinating and is only effective if used before the dandelion seeds have had a chance to germinate.

With all of the types of ways for controlling dandelions, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to prevent the dandelions from going to seed. Once the fluffy seed heads appear, the number of dandelions in your yard (and your neighbor’s) will multiply.

But now that you know how to get rid of dandelions, you can be confident that with some time and effort, you can have a dandelion free yard.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are more environmentally friendly.

By Agriculturist Musa

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How to get rid of stickers in your yard naturally: You may face a painful situation when it seems that your garden is full of stickers. These stickers mainly have grown in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world but it can also be grown in many temperate countries, mainly on the state where dry weather exists. Not only they are very harmful to your yard but also heart you very much. Obviously, it may kill a couple of hours of your time by pulling the tiny, spike-covered spheres that fix on your clothes and heart you too much.

Sticker is one kind of weeds that we do not desire. They can compete for light, air, nutrition with your desire plants like flowers, grass, and vegetables. Unfortunately, the can also attach to your pet’s fur, which is also painful for your pet. So, you must prepare a plan to deal with it for a certain period of time to lessen those problems. You need to take proper action to remove this sticker so that you can enjoy your yard again.

This article is all about how to get rid of stickers, what kills stickers in the grass, how to get rid of stickers in your yard naturally, how to get rid of sticker burrs in yard, how to get rid of sticker bushes, how to get rid of burweed stickers in yard, how to get rid of goat head stickers in your yard, how to get rid of burweed stickers in yard naturally, will roundup kill stickers and it will help you to control those stickers properly. If you do care in this article I am going to tell you some of the special techniques to kill the stickers.

Different types of stickers

If you research for a few hours, you may find out that stickers are known by different titles. Some of these are listed below:

  • Sand Burrs/Sandburs
  • Grass Burrs
  • Sticker Burrs/Burr stickers
  • Picking Monsters
  • Lawn/Grass Stickers

How to get rid of stickers in your yard

All the titles derived from some nasty weeds. So, you have to find out the way to control or kill them.

Some information about Sand Burrs

There are some common facts of sand burrs we need to know before going to remove it naturally.

Make a competition

Make your lawn healthy as far as possible. If your lawn is healthy, thick, and wealthy, the burrs become very much disturbed. They don’t get water and nutrient properly and they can’t stand properly on the lawn. So, let your grass grow well and the stickers automatically can’t stand because they can’t compete with growing grass.

Control the thorns, seeds

You must control the spread of seeds or thorns from one place to another. If your pets move through the lawn, they can carry the seeds or thorns properly in a customs area but sometimes they may spread the seeds or thorns from one place to another. So, you must follow the best way to control seeds.

Shallow root system

If you can’t control these stickers completely with many other techniques, you have to take a rest for a few days and pick the sand burrs by handpicking. With pour some water, they come out very easily.

How to get rid of stickers in your yard

The most eager thing is how to get rid of weeds easily. This is one of the most common questions that a mower search in Google. In this article, here are some of the easy methods to control or kill stickers that I’m stated below.

1. Remove stickers by rake

Rake your soil properly and accumulate the deed stickers from the soil then make a pile outside the lawn or a corner covering with a black plastic bag. When the become rot through them away from the lawn.

2. Mow your lawn

Mow your lawn to cut the stickers like a military haircut. Fix your mower at a height of a few notches and operate it properly. It can cut the stickers as well as other weeds. Keep a bag with you to collect all the cutting portion and burn them or keep them to rot outside the lawn. You have to mow your lawn at 3 days interval for the first two weeks.

3. Use the product MSMA

You can use the product called MSMA. It can assume that it is best to apply on the lawn directly. May and July is the best time to use it. Also, it works well in August. It is not an eco-friendly product and thus, it can be very harmful to animals and children. So, you must make a plan for this. When you and your family will go for a trip on vacation then apply this product in your lawn so that it can perform its activity since you, your family, and your dog are away.

4. Fertilization

Fertilize your soil after every completion of your herbicide cycle so that they can’t make a competition with your grass. Apply it two times
at 1-2 weeks interval.

5. The mixture of the solution

  • For pre-emergent treatment

Mixed ¾ cup of water-soluble herbicides containing 38.7 percent Pendimethalin and 1 gallon of water in a large tank. Shake it for 2 minutes to make a uniform mixture. For humid areas apply it with small droplets and for the arid environment with large droplets. Adjust the spray settings very carefully. Then, apply the mixture or herbicides to the soil where the stickers have densely emerged from the soil. After spray, watering should be done at a level of 2-3 inches so that the herbicide may become activated.

  • For post-emergent treatment

Mixed 1 tablespoon of a herbicide containing 49 percent glyphosate and 2 liters of water in a tank and shake them for two minutes to make a uniform mixture. Then apply it with large droplets in a dry area where the stickers at grown and with small droplets in a humid area. After applying this herbicide, watering should be done at a level of 1-2 inches.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

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Cattails (Typha) are often plentiful in wetlands. With species found in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 11, cattails are extremely prolific. The furry heads contain as many as 250,000 seeds, making it easy for the plant to multiply and take over swampy areas. To keep a good balance in your wetland area, cattails must be thinned out.

What Doesn’t Work

Cutting the tops off of cattails is an exercise in futility. It does not kill the plants, but instead sends the seeds to the ground which at worst can actually aid the plant in reproduction and at best won’t kill it. Manual removal is a tedious process that is not guaranteed to work permanently since root structures remain. Killing cattails is the only completely effective way to remove them. Salt used in appropriate quantities can work to this end.

Too Salty for Me

There are two basic types of plants when it comes to salt consumption. Halophytes tolerate high salt levels, such as those found in the ocean. These limited number of plants can process salt and continue life. The majority of plants are glycophytes, or plants that don’t have the ability to process salt. When they are overrun with saltwater, germination will shut down, physiology is altered and the plant will eventually die, basically choking on salt.

How Much Is Enough?

The salt content of water to kill cattails should be about 10 parts per thousand. This level of salinity is usually found in swamps and the like, while ocean water is closer to 30 PPT. Gardeners who live near a saltwater source have had success in killing cattails by flooding seawater into the area for about two months. Without a local saltwater source, an outside salt source can increase saline in the water. Salt blocks are one of the most efficient ways to do this, although there is no definitive amount of salt to use. You may start with one 10-pound block, only to find you need a 50-pound one. You can purchase a salinity test kit after placing salt blocks to check whether you are at the 10 PPT minimum, but even that is an inexact science when dealing with moving water and a single salt source. It is much easier to take a wait-and-see approach.

Accidental Death

Consider that salting the water around cattails will likely kill other plant life in the area. Salt blocks must be placed directly within the cattails so the highest concentration is in the water they will drink from. Even when placed directly under the cattails, salt will make its way out of the immediate area and pose a danger to any positive plant life nearby. There is no perfect way to use salt blocks, or any saline source, without endangering surrounding plants. If all plants nearby are nuisances, this may not be a concern. If you use the salt blocks in a targeted manner, cattails should begin to show signs of decline within two months, with germination slowing before then. If the salt block has not affected the plants over a two-month period, the concentration may be too low and you should add more blocks. Once the cattails are dead, remove any leftover blocks so that future plant life in the water is not affected.


Some chemical alternatives are more effective than salt. Diquat, a contact herbicide, must be sprayed on the entire plant since it kills exactly what it touches. It will not work its way into the roots, so Diquat must be reapplied yearly. Glyphosate, while more expensive, is a more effective permanent solution since it is systemic. Systemic herbicides work their way throughout the entire plant, killing below the ground as well. Spray it liberally on visible areas of cattails one time for full effect.

  • Ohio State University: Cattail Management
  • United States Department of The Interior Fish and Wildlife Services: Management and Control of Cattails
  • National Wetlands Research Center: How Plants Adapt to Salinity
  • The Wild Garden: Hansen’s Northwest Native Plants Database: Cattails

Josie Myers has been a freelance writer and tutor since 2008. A mother of three, she was a pre-kindergarten teacher for seven years, is a Pennsylvania-certified tree tender and served as director of parks in her local municipality. Myers holds a Bachelor of Arts in music and business from Mansfield University and a Master of Arts in English from West Chester University.

Got dandelions? Learn how to get rid of this common weed once and for all.

Related To:

Win the War on Dandelions

The first step in winning any war, including the one against dandelions, is to know your opponent. Equal parts perky and pesky, dandelion plants can live for 5 to 10 years, growing up to 20 inches across. Because they spread by wind-blown seed, no lawn or planting bed is immune to a parachuting invasion of dandelion seeds. Dandelions have some weedy superpowers, but if you understand how they grow, you can beat ’em and get rid of them permanently.

The Tap Root Is A Big Problem

Dandelions are perennial weeds (they come back each year) with fleshy taproots. Typically the taproot is 6 to 18 inches long, but on older plants, it can extend even deeper into soil. When you dig or pull a dandelion, try to get at least 2 to 3 inches of the taproot. It comes up easiest when soil is moist, like after rain or watering. Any part of the taproot left in soil can sprout, growing a whole new plant.

Dig ‘Em Out

You have several options for getting rid of dandelions permanently. The first is hand pulling or digging. When digging a dandelion, use a special dandelion fork or weeding knife, inserting it into soil along the plant. The taproot typically extends straight down from the tuft of leaves, so aim to place your tool alongside that root. Wiggle the tool a bit to loosen the soil around the taproot, grab all of the leaves in your hand, and pull.

Yank That Tap Root

Hand digging or pulling dandelions is the method to use when your lawn has just a few dandelions or you’re working in planting beds where weedkillers could damage other plants. Weed puller tools like this one take the back-breaking labor out of weeding. Always try to dig dandelions when soil is moist. If you have to, before weeding, water the area where you’ll be working.

Dandelion Double Header

The upper section of a dandelion taproot is full of buds. When you dig a dandelion and the leafy part breaks off above soil, the remaining taproot regrows, producing two plants. This regrowth comes from buds on the taproot, which sprout when the root is broken. When digging or pulling dandelions, do your best to remove all of the plant with as much of the root (still attached) as possible. Any part of the taproot left in soil will regenerate and produce a new plant. Pull that new plant as soon as it appears so it can’t help feed (and grow) the taproot. Keep doing that, and eventually the taproot will have used all its food reserves—and will stop sprouting.

Get The Young Ones

Young dandelion seedlings are the most vulnerable stage of the plant when it comes to digging, herbicide applications or homebrew weed killer. At this stage, seedlings have a thin taproot that’s easy to pull, and leaves haven’t yet developed a tough, waxy outer layer that’s impervious to weedkiller sprays. Watch for young dandelions to appear in spring and fall. This is the size dandelion that you can effectively kill with the newer organic weedkillers, which contain things like botanically based oils (clove oil, eugenol and d-limonene), fatty acid soaps or acetic acid. Household vinegar (5 percent) doesn’t kill dandelion roots according to extension specialists.

Target Your Weed Sprays

The best sprays to use on dandelions are ones that kill the leaf and the root (it should say that on the bottle). If you’re spraying dandelions that are located in other planting beds, create a spray collar by removing the top and bottom of a can or plastic bottle. Slip the container over the dandelion, and spray the weed inside the can.

Old Ones Are Tough

As dandelions mature, leaves develop a waxy coating that sheds water and weedkiller sprays. This is why it’s best to try and treat dandelions when they’re young. There is a way to overcome that, though: Injure the plant just before spraying it. To do that, simply scuff your foot over the plant a few times. This breaks up the leaf tissue, creating openings for the weedkiller to enter. This dandelion and the one in the next photo were sprayed at the same time. This dandelion wasn’t scuffed prior to spraying. It never did die from the weedkiller, which was the kind that kills dandelions, not lawn.

Scuff And Spray Works

This dandelion was scuffed just prior to spraying a weedkiller. It died quickly and completely, never to return. The best time to spray dandelions is in the fall, because this is when plants are naturally shifting materials from leaves to roots for winter storage. Weedkiller applied in fall moves directly to roots, which helps get rid of dandelions permanently. Avoid using lawn weed and feed products in fall to kill dandelions, though, because if your lawn goes dormant for winter, it won’t absorb the fertilizer. Instead, any weeds present take up the fertilizer and grow stronger.

Don’t Let Seeds Sprout

Killing actual dandelion plants is one tactic in the war on this weed. Another is creating an environment where dandelion seeds can’t successfully germinate. To do this, use a pre-emergent herbicide like corn gluten meal or Preen. This type of weedkiller interferes with seed germination, which means seeds can’t produce a plant. Use corn gluten meal in fall and early spring (about the time forsythia flowers). Another technique to make your yard unfriendly to dandelion seeds is to mulch planting beds, and don’t cut your lawn shorter than 2 to 3 inches. Taller grass grows thicker, shading soil so dandelion seeds can’t sprout.

Knowing What They Are

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanentlyIn dry states like Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, you have probably had to deal with prickly stickers in your lawn from time to time. If so, here are a few ways to get rid of grass burrs.

Also known as: Sandburrs, Grass Burrs, Sticker Burrs/Burr Stickers, Pricking Monsters, Lawn/Grass Stickers.

Generally, these are all referring to the same nasty weed. They thrive in the heat and are prominently found in Bermuda and St. Augustine lawns.

Ways to Get Rid of Grass Burrs

  1. They struggle with competition. If you have a healthy, thick, and prosperous lawn, the burrs have a hard time spreading. Burrs don’t like to be watered very much and they can’t stand healthy lawns. So keep your lawn watered regularly.
  2. Mow with a Bag and drop the height adjustment on your mower a few notches and give your lawn a short-trimmed cut.

Be sure to keep a bag on your mower. Mowing without a bag will spread the seeds faster and farther. For the first two weeks, mow a couple of times a week.
10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanentlyProducts called MSMA or Orange Oil, typically found in stores, are considered good herbicides. Apply it to your lawn as directed.

The best time to apply is between May and July. MSMA is not an Eco-Friendly product, which means it may be harmful to animals and children. Sand Burrs are tough, so you have to use a strong herbicide to get rid of them.

An organic weed killer some experts mention on this topic is Orange Oil, if you would prefer a more eco-friendly option.

Recommended Products for Weeds:

Water Your Lawn Regularly

Keeping your lawn watered properly will go a long way to eliminating grass burrs. For North Texas lawns, we have created this guide to help keep a good watering schedule – click here for a Lawn Watering Guide

Even if you control and rid your lawn of all current grass burr plants, new plants will emerge next spring from the seeds that are currently in the soil.

Eliminating the grass burrs in your lawn will take some time. Helping your grass stay healthy in your lawn will help with this management effort.

When a professional is needed in North Texas for lawn maintenance remember Ryno Lawn Care is here to assist you.

Weeds are a nuisance in the yard, especially when their name contains the word creeping. Nothing can ruin a perfectly healthy lawn then a weed that creeps its way in and refuses to leave. Our methods show you how to get rid of Creeping Charlie organically so that your garden and lawn can thrive.

Creeping Charlie, or Glechoma hederacea, is part of the mint family, and while it is considered a broadleaf weed, you cannot always kill it with a common broadleaf herbicide. This evergreen perennial weed has many other names, including ground ivy and field balm. It is a ground cover weed with broad leaves, dainty purple flowers, and stems that creep along the ground in shady areas.

  1. Smart Ways to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Organically
    • Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Weed by Hand-Pulling
    • Kill Creeping Charlie Naturally with Borax
    • Killing Creeping Charlie with Solarization
    • Preventing Creeping Charlie from Coming Back

Smart Ways to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Organically

The Creeping Charlie weed can be troublesome to get rid of because it spreads its way using its roots, seeds, and stems, which can quickly lead to weed broadleaf infestation. Understanding what weed killer kills Creeping Charlie naturally will provide you with the ease of mind knowing that you will not be adding harmful herbicides such as Roundup to the environment.

Many of these solutions also apply when eliminating other weeds, too. Kill Japanese Knotweed or even Crabgrass with our simple DIY remedies.

Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Weed by Hand-Pulling

If you have an isolated patch of Creeping Charlie, the best way to eliminate it is to remove the entire plant. Simular to a DIY duckweed killer, pulling the weed will prevent it from spreading or creating new plants. Here is how to get rid of Creeping Charlie weed by completely removing it from the ground.

Removing Creeping Charlie by Hand Weeding

  • Shovel
  • Garden gloves
  • Large garbage bag
  • Garden hose
  • Garden shears

Before weeding Creeping Charlie, put on garden gloves to prevent a possible allergic reaction to the weed. Use garden shears or scissors to cut away as much of the leaves and vines that have not rooted and place the clippings into the garbage bag.

Use a garden hose to water the area until the soil is saturated to make the process of pulling the weed easier. Grab hold of the plant as close to the ground as possible. Pull until the roots come free.

If the weed root does not release its grip, use a shovel to pry the plant out of the ground. Place all parts of the weed into the garbage bag and dispose of it. Fill the hole with grass seed and cover with dirt or cover the area with mulch.

Hand pulling is also a great organic moss killer. Since moss roots are not very deep, it is quite easy to grab the patches of moss you want to eradicate. Put the pieces of moss in a garbage bag and dispose of properly.

Killing poison ivy is also easy with this method, although the roots can be challenging to reach. Protective gear is particularly important when removing poison ivy or its relatives. Long pants, long sleeves, and gloves are a necessity.

Kill Creeping Charlie Naturally with Borax

Borax contains boron, which is a mineral salt that all plants need at low levels to survive. Borax provides high levels of boron that kill creeping Charlie naturally. This is toxic to cats and dogs, so we recommend not using Borax if you have pets that enjoy spending time in the yard.

Creeping Charlie Weed Killer Spray

  • 10 ounces Borax
  • 2 1/2 gallons of warm water
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle

The best time to use this method is in the fall when the weed is the most active, and when you do not expect rain for two days after treatment. Combine Mule Team Borax and warm water in a bucket and stir until dissolved.

Fill a bottle or garden sprayer with the natural herbicide and spray it evenly throughout the weed-infested area. Reapply the herbicide once more in two weeks. Use this spray as a natural dandelion control method, too. Be sure to only spray the plants that you want to kill as the solution will destroy anything it touches.

To add even more oomph to this recipe and take care of other weeds, too, add a cup or so of vinegar to the mixture. Killing clover with vinegar by itself or with this recipe is easy and only needs a couple of applications.

Killing Creeping Charlie with Solarization

Killing weeds naturally using the power of the sun is one of the easiest ways to eliminate weeds. This method causes them to overheat and burn while smothering them and denying them the water and oxygen they need to survive.

Solarizing Creeping Charlie

  • Clear plastic sheet
  • Bricks or rocks
  • Garden hose

Begin by mowing the area with the mower set to the lowest setting. Place a sheet of plastic over the patch of Creeping Charlie, covering it completely, and place bricks, rocks, or another form of weights along the outside edges to keep the plastic in place. Remove the plastic in the late fall after the first frost so that the weed will no longer germinate.

Preventing Creeping Charlie from Coming Back

Performing proper lawn care is one of the best ways to prevent weeds from taking root in your yard. After you remove Creeping Charlie from your lawn by either pulling or using an organic herbicide, take specific steps to ensure that weeds do not make a comeback.

The same steps apply when you kill kudzu vines or other weeds. Diligent lawn care and weed removal strategies when you first notice a problem are important to keep unwanted vegetation from taking over the lawn.

Creeping Charlie Prevention

In the early spring before Creeping Charlie has begun to sprout, use a lawn spreader to spread corn gluten meal using ten pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Water the lawn thoroughly after spreading, but make sure that you are not expecting rain for a few days after application.

Like many other lawn weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions, Creeping Charlie is an invasive weed that will not only take over your turfgrass and flowerbeds by reseeding but through its roots and stems, as well. Learning how to kill Creeping Charlie using organic methods of weed control to eliminate it is not only healthier for the environment but you and your family.

Appreciating how to get rid of creeping Charlie organically without using herbicides that contain glyphosate, dicamba, or triclopyr can offer you peace of mind while working in the yard, so why not share these Creeping Charlie removal tips with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?

Seeds may be viable for up to three years so manage accordingly

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Figure 1. On April 30, 2015, leaves have emerged from the large taproot and tower over newly emerged seedlings.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Figure 2. On the left, an unsprayed area from last fall versus, on the right, a fall-applied herbicide treatment.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Figure 3. Although effective at controlling established plants, none of the fall treatments stopped new seedlings.

  • 10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently
  • 10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently
  • 10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently
  • 10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Knowing how this plant reproduces will influence how you manage it. Burdock is biennial and reproduces only by seed. Following seed germination in the spring, burdock will grow into a large leafy rosette plant with a large taproot that allows it to overwinter. In the second year, burdock will flower and produce the burrs we all know. Each burr will contain about 30 to 40 seeds, with an entire plant producing anywhere from 9,800 to 17,000 seeds.

In late April, go where you’ve seen burdock and you should find both established plants with large leaves that have emerged from the large taproot as well as young seedlings that have germinated from seed in the spring (Figure 1).

Although the young seedling plants are easy to kill in the spring, the larger overwintered plants are more easily controlled the previous fall. Table 1 lists the results when herbicides were sprayed against large established burdock rosettes in late September 2014 and evaluated in spring 2015.

A couple of things stand out in Table 1. First, none of the fall treatments were all that impressive several weeks after application. But be patient: control of those plants in the spring has been very good (Figure 2). Second, nothing applied in the fall stopped seed from germinating in the spring. Management of these seedlings in early May with either tillage or herbicides is important to stop the cycle of established overwintered plants that eventually produce seed. Figure 3 shows a significant flush of new seedling plants coming through a treatment that was successful at removing the established plants.

Recap: Apply effective herbicides against established rosette plants in the fall and then deal with young seedlings in the spring with tillage or effective herbicides. Because seed may be viable for two or three years, this may need to be repeated.

Have a question you want answered? Hashtag #PestPatrol to @cowbrough or email Mike at [email protected]

  • Medical Author: Dr. Jasmine Shaikh, MD
  • Medical Reviewer: Shaziya Allarakha, MD

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is usually perceived as a sign of bad oral hygiene. To understand if you can get rid of bad breath permanently, you and your doctor and dentist will first need to look at its probable causes.

What can cause bad breath?

Bad breath can result from multiple causes and can even be a warning sign of an illness. The possible causes include:

  1. Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing your teeth daily or not flossing them daily, not cleaning your dentures can give rise to bad breath.
  2. Certain foods: Ingestion of raw garlic and onion are known to cause bad breath. This is due to the substances that they released after their breakdown in the stomach that reach the lungs via circulation.
  3. Tobacco: Apart from their own odor, smoking and chewing tobacco can cause gum disease and lead to bad breath.
  4. Infections in your mouth: Dental conditions, such as tooth decay, can cause you to have bad breath.
  5. Diseases of your nose or throat: Conditions like sinusitis and rhinitis can cause post-nasal discharge and cause you to develop bad breath. Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) can also lead to bad breath.
  6. Decreased salivation/dry mouth: You may have decreased salivation due to disorders of the salivary gland or medical conditions, such as xerostomia (dry mouth), which may be caused by several factors like certain medications, aging, use of alcohol and tobacco, and cancer therapy. Sleeping with your mouth wide open can also cause dry mouth and lead to bad breath.
  7. Medications: Medicines like antihistamines (used to relieve allergies) and the ones that cause you to urinate frequently (diuretics) can cause dry mouth and lead to bad breath.
  8. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) or problems with your digestion
  9. Diabetes
  10. A foreign body (such as a piece of food) lodged in a nostril (commonly seen in children)

How can I permanently get rid of bad breath?

If the cause is simple, such as bad oral hygiene, treatment of bad breath becomes simple. Identification of cause is important. Even if the cause is unknown, you can try following a few things and see if it works for you in getting rid of or preventing bad breath. These include:

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily: Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice daily after you get up from your bed in the morning and at night after dinner.
  2. Floss at least once a day: Flossing removes the trapped food particles in between the teeth.
  3. Brush your tongue: The tongue, especially it’s part towards the throat, harbors bacteria. Brushing the tongue cleans the tongue and prevents bad breath. Use a tongue scraper or the tongue cleaner at the back of your brush for cleaning your tongue at least once a day.
  4. Rinse with a mouth wash: Look for a good over the counter mouth wash (such as with mint) that can help you fight and mask bad breath.
  5. Clean your dental fittings: You need to clean dental implants, such as dentures, daily with a cleaning solution (ask your dentist for one).
  6. Do things that prevent dry mouth: Drink plenty of water and fluids and eat juicy fruits.
  7. Wash your mouth after eating certain foods: You can avoid eating bad breath causing foods, such as garlic and onion, or brush after you eat them.
  8. Skip sugary candies and chew sugar-free gums: Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath. Skip the sugary candies and suck on the sugar-free candies or chewing gums. This will help increase your salivation and keep your mouth from emitting a bad odor due to a dry tongue.
  9. Change your toothbrush regularly: Replace your old brush either after every 3-4 months or after its bristles become frayed.
  10. See a dentist regularly: If you have dentures or other dental fittings (and suffer from bad breath), visit a dentist at least twice a year to get them examined and cleaned.

Bad breath is an embarrassing health condition and can be an important social problem; it can make friends and social contacts to avoid meeting you. If not treated properly, the condition can also hamper your professional relationships. If the above measures fail to provide adequate relief from bad breath, consult your doctor or dentist who can identify its root cause by a physical examination and by asking you a few questions.

The doctor or the dentist will treat the bad breath depending on its cause and can help you get rid of it permanently. For example, a condition like xerostomia will need an artificial saliva preparation or a prescription of medicine that increases your salivation.

Organic Landscaping in Lawns, Garden Areas

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

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10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

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“Weed control without chemicals” conjures up nightmares of getting down on your hands and knees on a hot day and pulling out stubborn weeds by hand. But suppressing weed growth without compromising your organic principles need not be so primitive. Learn about a variety of measures to use to keep weeds from taking over your vegetable gardens, driveways, flower borders, planting beds, and lawn areas.

Use these measures in conjunction with each other for best results. Weed removal without resorting to potentially dangerous chemical herbicides can be tough work. Learn how to work smarter, not harder.

Laying the Foundation

The first smart idea in a project of weed control without chemicals in gardens is to prepare the plot of ground in question. Put these ideas in place before you plant, so that you’ll get off to a smooth start:

  • Kill weeds through soil solarization: Soil solarization is a preventive, organic method of killing weeds before they even sprout. This method is meant for homeowners wishing to start out with a clean slate, re-landscaping a weed-filled patch of land in such a way as to reduce to a minimum the hassle of weed control in the future.
  • Lay landscape fabrics: For those in need of soil solarization, installing landscape fabrics can be considered step #2 in the project of weed control without chemicals. For those with less weedy properties, it is step #1. Weed control without chemicals shouldn’t mean going back to the Stone Age, and landscape fabrics are a case in point. These barriers are a hi-tech ally in the battle against weeds. They’re not always a good choice, though. Not every gardener loves using them. But if you’re a beginner who adores gardening but hates weeding, you owe it to yourself to learn more about them. Experiment with landscape fabrics to see where they work best (and where they present too many drawbacks). They are most effective in shrub beds.
  • Use garden mulch: As the final element in a good foundation for your bed of annuals, perennials, or shrubs, apply garden mulch on top of the landscape fabric. Mulch comes in extremely handy not only when fighting the plants most commonly thought of as “weeds,” but also unwanted grass. In fact, there are several different ways to use mulch to get rid of weedy grass.

Many people skip right to mulching in their attempts to control weeds organically, but applying landscape fabric first will lengthen the life of your garden mulch, since it won’t break down as quickly if it’s not allowed to come into direct contact with the soil.

Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent Organic Herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides attack annual weedy plants at the source: their seeds. After seed germination, they act to inhibit the growth of those first roots a weed strikes down. They thus take care of weeds in the soil before they even have a chance to emerge from the ground.

Corn gluten is an example of a pre-emergent herbicide used for weed control without chemicals; it’s especially helpful in fighting crabgrass (Digitaria). Remember, corn gluten will suppress “good” plants, too, so don’t use it in garden spaces or lawns where you’re sowing seed.

By contrast, you apply post-emergent herbicides only after the weeds have appeared. For weed control without chemicals, try vinegar as a post-emergent weed killer. Even household vinegar is effective if you have only young weeds to deal with in your planting bed (killing older ones requires a special, stronger vinegar).

Likewise, you can:

  • Pour boiling water on weeds to kill them.
  • Or dilute rubbing alcohol with water to turn it into an herbicide (2 tablespoons of alcohol per 1 quart of water). Spray weed leaves with this mixture.


As with corn gluten, be careful using vinegar because it’s an equal-opportunity killer: Being a non-selective herbicide, it not only kills weeds but also harms landscape plants that are accidentally exposed to it.

Crowding Out Weeds With “Good” Plants

Another way to stop weeds naturally is based on the premise that a good offense is the best defense. This is particularly true on lawns. Grass that is well cared for will grow in so thickly that it will largely crowd out weeds. Think of your lawn grass as being in competition with weeds for the building blocks of growth: nutrients, water, sunlight, and growing space. There’s only so much of these to go around, and your job is to give your lawn grass an unfair advantage in the competition. If you do so, then you may seldom see a weed in your lawn, especially if you put down corn gluten in the spring to suppress crabgrass.

You can take a similar approach to perennial beds. If you’re not a big fan of mulch, simply pack your perennials close together, thereby depriving weeds of the bare patches that they so love to exploit. You can also plant compatible ground covers between your flowers.

But be vigilant. Weeds and weedy plants can be sneaky. Years after seemingly getting rid of an invasive plant such as sweet autumn clematis vine (Clematis terniflora), seeds that it had deposited into the soil will sprout. Lurking among your perennials, it’s easy for it to go undetected and re-establish itself unless you pay careful attention. So, while it’s theoretically possible to use the crowding-out strategy in perennial beds, it’s not as easy to do so as it is in lawn areas, where weed seedlings are more readily spotted.

In Case You Still End Up Pulling Weeds

With landscape fabric and mulch in place, the bad news is that, even then, you may still get weeds. But the good news is that those weeds will be easy to remove. Pulling weeds embedded in garden mulch isn’t nearly as difficult as pulling weeds embedded in soil. With that good “foundation” in place, you may not even feel the need to bother with corn gluten and vinegar: Five minutes of easy pulling here and there should get the job done.

One exception to this may arise: If the integrity of the landscape fabric has been compromised, weeds may strike down roots in the soil beneath, making them difficult to pull out. In this case, water the area in question beforehand. In fact, a general rule of thumb for weeding is that it’s easier to yank out weeds from moist soil than from dry soil.

There are even some weeds that you can eat after you pull them. Examples include:

Our top pick is the Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

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10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Weed killer herbicides are extremely handy for lawn maintenance, as they can help control crabgrass, dandelions, ragweed, and other common weeds that may pop up around your home. We researched numerous weed killers and evaluated them on many factors, chiefly how easy the product is to use, how long it keeps weeds at bay, and for its overall value for the price.

Our top choice, the Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate, filled the bill in all cases.

Here, find the best weed killers for your yard.

Best Overall: Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

Courtesy of Home Depot

Comes with a built-in sprayer

Kills weeds and grasses

Rainproof after 15 minutes

Can kill unprotected grass

Whether you’re hoping to control weeds on a sidewalk, flower bed, or around trees, you can’t go wrong with the Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate. This chemical herbicide kills weeds and grasses, and you can use it on driveways and walkways, as well as around fences, trees, flower beds, and shrubs. You can expect visible results in as soon as three hours, and the formula is “rainproof” in just 15 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about it washing away.

You can buy the product in 64-ounce plastic containers; you need to dilute it and apply with a separate tank sprayer. Or you can purchase it as a one-gallon-size ready-to-use version, with an included trigger-style sprayer. For best results, you should apply the diluted formula during warm, sunny, windless weather, and thoroughly spray the leaves of any weeds you’re hoping to kill. Since it acts indiscriminately, it is recommended for general, not targeted use.

Volume: 16 ounces, 32 ounces, 40 ounces, 64 ounces, 1 gallon | Plant Type: Grass, Clover, Broadleaf, and Other Listed Weeds

But first, a reminder: It’s totally normal and natural.

10 effective ways to get rid of thistles in pastures permanently

An important PSA for ya: Cellulite is 100 percent normal—and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having it, loving it, or, yup, even wanting to get rid of it. It’s your body and your comfort. Here’s the thing though: If you aren’t a fan of your cellulite , you need to know that you can’t technically get rid of it at home. No matter how many cellulite creams and exfoliating scrubs you use on the daily, you can’t actually make your dimples disappear. You can temporarily smooth and tighten your skin with the right ingredients, but the best long-term solution is an in-office treatment with a dermatologist. It’s a lot to take in, but don’t worry, bbs: We chatted with a bunch of dermatologists to explain exactly what’s going on and what treatments are available. Here’s everything you can—and can’t—do when it comes to working with your cellulite.

Meet the experts:

  • Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, is CEO of Vibrant Dermatology and Skin Bar MD and dermatologist in Greater Boston.
  • Hadley King, MD, is a New York–based dermatologist who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology.
  • Mona Gohara, MD, is an associate clinical professor at Yale and dermatologist.
  • Dendy Engelman, MD, is a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City and director of dermatologic surgery at Metropolitan Hospital.

What is cellulite, and how does it develop?

Cellulite is dimpling or lumpiness of the skin on the thighs, butt, stomach, and hips—although you can get it other places on the body, including your arms. Cellulite forms when fat cells beneath your skin (which, BTW, everyone has, regardless of what you eat or how frequently you exercise) push up against your skin’s connective tissues, causing skin to dimple or pucker. According to Dr. Ip, cellulite is completely harmless and so common that it affects more than 80 to 90 percent of all women.

We don’t know the exact reason cellulite forms, but according to Dr. King, “It appears to result from an interaction between the connective tissue in the layer that lies below the surface of the skin and the layer of fat just below it.” Unlike men (who have criss-crossing connective tissue structures), women’s fat cells are contained in “chamber-like structures that favor the expansion of fat tissue into the dermis,” says Dr. King. Cellulite development also depends on a bunch of factors, including hormones, genetics, age, weight, diet, pregnancy, activity, and how much collagen and estrogen you have in your skin.

What are the “grades” of cellulite?

ICYMI, there are four grades of cellulite, which help your dermatologist or other medical pro assess your skin:

  • Zero: no visible cellulite.
  • One: cellulite is visible only when you pinch the overlying skin.
  • Two: cellulite is visible when a person is standing.
  • Three: severe cellulite is visible when standing and sitting, with deep peaks and valleys on the skin.

Can you actually get rid of cellulite?

Sorry, but no—at least not at home. “Think of a button creating a pucker on a couch cushion,” says Dr. Gohara. “To get rid of the pucker, you have to go deeper and cut the cords.” And no, that cord-cutting can’t happen at home. That said, there are a handful of tips and tricks that help lessen the appearance of cellulite in the short term—and as long as you go into the process with realistic expectations, they’re not a bad place to start.

Do me a favor though, and pls remember again that cellulite is super common and natural—like 93-percent-of-all-women common, says Dr. Engelman—and there’s no shame in wanting to keep or get rid of it.

What are common mistakes people make about cellulite?

“A common assumption that people make is that cellulite has to do with weight gain,” says Dr. Ip. “This is not the case. anyone can have cellulite regardless of the number on the scale.” People also assume that cellulite is easy just to get rid of, she says, but it’s a normal part of our anatomy. “We don’t have any perfect solutions,” adds Dr. King. “And we’re always our own worst critic.”

Okay, if you feel like you’re caught up—like, enough already, let’s get to the treatments—here’s what you can do for your cellulite.