5 Easy Ways to Control Thistle in Your Landscape

5 Easy Ways to Control Thistle in Your Landscape

Is your lawn being overrun with thistle? Also known as Cirsium vulgare, thistle is an invasive plant that’s common throughout Texas as well as other Southern states.

It’s a relatively small plant, with the flowering stem reaching a height of just 1 to 1.5 meters. Like other invasive plants, though, it can quickly take over your landscape if not addressed.

By following these five tips, you can eliminate and prevent thistle in your landscape.

#1) Add Mulch

You can use mulch to prevent thistle from growing in your landscape.

Whether it’s organic or store-bought, mulch allows the soil to retain more moisture. At the same time, it will blanket the soil on which it’s applied to inhibit the growth of invasive plants, including thistle.

If you’re struggling with thistle in a flowerbed or next to a tree, try applying a layer of mulch.

#2) Reseed Bare Patches of Grass

Another way to gain the upper hand on thistle is to reseed bare patches of grass.

If one or more areas of your lawn is bare, thistle may emerge. By filling these bare patches with grass seed, you’ll encourage grass to grow there rather than thistle.

#3) Pull Up and Remove Thistle

Some homeowners assume that the best way to control thistle is to simply run it over with the lawnmower. While this may work temporarily, it’s not a viable long-term solution.

If you only mow thistle, you’ll inadvertently scatter the seeds across your lawn, which could make the problem even worse.

Therefore, you should consider pulling up and removing the entire thistle plant – taproot and all.

#4) Spot Treat With Vinegar

Vinegar is highly effective at killing thistle.

Its acidic properties can kill thistle on contact, making it an excellent solution for homeowners struggling with thistle. Simply fill a bottle with one part vinegar and one part water, after which you can spray it directly on thistle plants.

Just remember to use caution when applying vinegar so that you don’t accidentally hit your grass or other healthy plants.

#5) Go Easy on Fertilizer

Use caution to avoid over-fertilizing your lawn.

Fertilizing your lawn can balance the soil’s pH level while providing your grass with essential nutrients in the process. Unfortunately, it also encourages weeds like thistle to grow faster and taller.

You can still fertilize your lawn, but don’t do it too frequently. Once or twice a year should suffice for most lawns and landscapes.

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