Monday, August 13, 2012

The War of the Thistle

Remember when I boasted about my wonderful daughter and the great job she did with the mulch in my  front flowerbeds?  

Well the ugly truth beds are overrun with this crap trying to disguise itself in my zinnias!


I tried to be all Mother-Earthy one year and feed the birds through the winter.  I fed them seed that was apparently loaded with thistle and it volunteered to take up residence in my flowerbeds!  I hate it!  It's horrible and thorney with running roots which means it could care less how many of it's heads I pop off because as long as theirs a piece of live root it will rise a zombie!  They are everywhere and even run out into the lawn.
I have to don my protective armour to pull them out and it's a delicate procedure!  The ground can't be too hard or they just break off at the ground level.  If they are too small I can't get a good grip on them so they break off too.  I wear 2-3 layers on my hands so I can firmly grasp the think stalk and pull them out, hopefully with enough of the root still attached to make me think I'm actually killing it! 

One year I was so disgusted that I pulled out all my flowering bulbs in this bed and took the tiller to it.  You know what that accomplished?  You betcha...every one of those chopped up bits of roots regenerated and it came back with a grudge!  Even commercial strength Round-up only knocked it to it's knees for a while...Sure it all turned brown and shriveled up but within a few weeks the small fresh green sprouts of fledgling thistle began to a bad nightmare.

About an hour later they are all pulled out and my flower beds are recognizable once again.  Luckily the layers of newspaper and mulch made pulling them out a little bit easier so it didn't take me long.  My butterfly bush and my miniature rose bush are both in need of a good 'haircut' as my Mom says.

What a difference!  Pulling weeds makes me happy.

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