Biennials, like musk, plumeless, and bull thistle, live for two years and reproduce only by seed. To recap the three pronged organic management approach that I’ve come up with to combat Canadian Thistle: 1) Selective removal of plants 2) Graze/mow high 3) Open up the compacted soil. Pull up as many of the existing thistle plants as you can, both mature plants and seedlings, making sure to get the whole root network. Thistle is one determined gardening foe. The plant is beneficial for pollinators that rely on nectar. Since mature plants have root systems that can extend for 10 feet, you will have better luck pulling up immature plants. How do I get rid of Canadian thistle as organically as possible? A small slice is all that is necessary, so do not cut the stem in half. This cool season perennial (Zones 2-8), known for its difficulty to kill and its desire to take over your garden completely and totally, is a scourge for gardeners. Thistles have a very invasive root system which is one reason why they are so difficult to get rid of. Learn how to get rid of thistle and the best way to control thistles in your garden without resorting to scorching the earth with chemicals. Introduction Producers in organic farming would like to reduce the amount of tillage used in their cropping systems to limit the detrimental impact of tillage on soil health (Sooby et al. 2007). Regardless, Canada thistle control likely will have to take place for more than one year. The roots of Canada thistle spread aggressively, and can increase the width of a thistle patch 6 to 10 feet in a season. Like any plant, weeds have different life cycles and seeding methods. This isn't a magic bullet, but it can be really effective and is a much better tool to get rid of thistles organically than we've ever had. ... Cut the stem of each thistle plant with a knife. PTTOW! Many organic farmers are reducing tillage and modifying their thistle control strategies. If left unchecked, a single Canada thistle plant eventually turns into a patch containing thousands of stems. is an invite-only member network and summit that brings together leaders, from the world’s most innovative companies, along with cultural icons for high level discussions on culture, media and marketing. The key to Canada thistle's weediness is its root system. Organic producers may be able to reduce the need for tillage to control Canada thistle with system design. More Information about How to Kill Thistles Without Chemicals. Answer. As the root system spreads, it gives rise to new shoots. This is a rare win-win situation because the greatest thistle control coincided with the grazing system that gave the best production and best utilization of thistle.” For more information or to receive an electronic version of the booklet, How to Win the War on Canada Thistle, contact Bork at 403-492-3843 or [email protected]. Thistle – specifically Canada Thistle – appears over a wide area of the U.S. and obviously, Canada (Bull Thistle and Creeping Thistle are closely related). Spray one to two sprays of vinegar directly on the cut of each thistle plant. This is especially important with Canada thistle. Still, there are plenty of non-invasive pollinator plants to choose from, so just go ahead and get rid of this menace. There’s just no easy way to say this, my gardening friends: An invasion of thistle in your vegetable garden is bad news. 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