How to Get Rid of Bull Thistle
There are a lot of times that, when you are trying to grow different plants in your garden, some unwanted ones pop out of nowhere. Since you didn’t intend for these plants to grow, they got their nutrients from the existing plants in your garden. When this happens, your plants would eventually die and the invading plants would take over your garden.
One type of plant that is considered to be an invasive species is the bull thistle. Bull thistles is considered as a weed and they can be easily identified since they have large purple flower on top of a spherical body full of thorns. Bull thistle usually grows with crops and grasses and as what has been mentioned earlier, they can lead to the death of the other plants in your garden.
Bull thistle grows up to 5 feet tall so their presence can be easy to spot. They are an invasive weed and can destroy your once precious garden. If you have animals in your garden or farm, bull thistle can irritate their mouths which can harm them eventually. Here are some of the things that you can do to get rid of bull thistle:
Limit the movement of the seeds
if you don’t know, bull thistles thrive and propagate by spreading their seeds. So making sure that you stop them from invading your landscape through this method is one of the most effective ways in dealing with bull thistle. By eliminating the seeds you effectively eliminate the weeds as well. When you see bull thistles thriving in your yard, you can remove them manually but make sure that you do not spread the seed in the process.
Use machines to control them
There is nothing like heavy machinery when dealing with this nuisance. For bull thistles, you can use mowers but just be sure to cute them off as close to the ground as possible. You should mow them or cut them before their flowering stage since they can produce up to 4000 seeds at a time which is considered as bad news.
If you cut bull thistles down, you need to consider that those seeds that have gone on the ground can survive up to 1 year while those buried beneath the ground can survive for as long as 3 years. Make sure that you cover the area to provide shade. Bull thistles will never survive with shade and this is the reason why you need to darken the place a bit.
Use selective herbicides for control
There are chemicals that you can use if you feel that the presence of bull thistles is threatening your landscape. You can use herbicides which can definitely lower the population of bull thistles. Remember though that herbicides that you use can also affect the other plants in the surrounding area and you should be careful for this reason. You can actually use selective herbicides which has the same killing effect except that it will not do anything to your plants.
Use natural methods of control
If you don’t feel comfortable in dealing with bull thistles using herbicides, you can always go for the natural method. There are bugs that can offer some control over the thistles as they will feed on the plants. Bugs like butterflies and gall fly would lay eggs that would feed on bull thistles once they hatch.