Also known as bull thistle, thistle is an aggressive perennial weed that thrives in disturbed areas, such as roadsides and pastures. Through the summer, and until early fall, this invasive weed grows best in intermediately moistened soil.
What Does Thistle Look Like?
Over its two-year life cycle, thistle starts off producing leaves that form a rosette, then flowering stems with pink-magenta flowers. Leaves on this weed are lobed with spined tips and have a rough surface with a soft underside.
How to Prevent or Control Thistle
Since thistle only reproduces from seeding, it’s important to keep track of when the thistle blooms. Depending on how much thistle is growing, or has already grown, you can easily dig it out with a shovel or by hand.
Maintaining a regular mowing schedule is the most effective way to control or remove thistle, as long as the flowers haven’t bloomed yet. And, of course, there is always the last resort of utilizing herbicides, which is best used on first year rosettes.
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