thistle control in mulch beds

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by lawntennis, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Has anyone found anything to control Bull thistle in mulch beds. I can't find anything that has it on the label but I thought someone might have found something that worked.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,671

    Most common problem is Canada thistle (not bull thistle). Canada thistle spreads by underground roots called rhizomes. Plus deep roots. It is very difficult to remove it from a planting that you cannot spray with weed killer. Possible you could cover the good plants with plastic garbage bags--spray Roundup and remove bags. For any survivors hand cut the thistle stalks about 1 inch above ground. With no roots everything above the cut will die. It will sprout from the roots in a week--repeat --repeat as needed.
  3. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,666

    I'v had some success with spectracide/mixed in my backpack sprayer. The stuff is persistent, so you have to spot spray again and again when its actively growing. I generally walk my beds here at home once a week.
  4. kenneth meals

    kenneth meals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    We've always used Snap shot in flower beds before applying a spring mulch layer.
  5. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Hey Lawntennis...I have a client in Indiana, PA and for the past five years it's been an on going thistle battle. They live in a beautiful housing development with beautiful landscaping...however...the thistle is trying to take over. A few years back we decided to lay fabric over the whole landscape and remulch. That lasted the first year or so, then the thistle found ways to push up through the fabric or found the seam points (three inch overlap) and crept up through there. So now all we can do is continue to pull the thistle before it seeds. This is more of a temporary visual solution. Since the roots tunnel underground and the thistle is so brittle when pulling out...go with the visual solution as it is probably the best solution.

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