Monday, July 14, 2008

War on Thistles

Remember my resolution when newly refurbishing this blog page, to mercilessly root out and destroy the host of Canada thistles that had popped up unsightly, all over my flower beds and landscaped shrub area?

I have a confession to make. The great thistle war has so far failed. I won the First Battle of the Weed Whacker, followed by the Battle of Weed-Hound and the Third Battle of Handpulling. But the thistles are back and spreading worse than ever. I wish that I had googled the following earlier:
"Cultivation is not generally recommended unless it is carried out with care and persistence, because it often increases the problem by spreading root fragments to new locations."
It might have saved me some trouble, had I known that I was spreading the noxiousness further. So my next grand battle strategy is to look for a potential use for the pesky plant. For instance, I have noticed less dandelions popping up ever since I decided to try and get their roots for dandelion tea. Perhaps the same technique will work for the thistles. Sure enough, there is a use for the thistle roots, as per Wikipedia:
"Like other Cirsium species, the roots are edible, though rarely used, not least due to their propensity to induce flatulence in some people. (Hmm, not a very tantalizing option, but all's fair in love and war!) The taproot is considered the most nutritious. The leaves are also edible, though the spines make their preparation for food too tedious to be worth eating."
That may be just the thing that I need to run into a sudden shortage of Canada thistle in my lot. I will report on this experiment if I succeed, otherwise, fuggedaboutit!


Anonymous said...

My problem is crabgrass. The pre-emergent treatment doesn't work, hand pulling only works to some extent, sprays don't seem to have any effect, and worse, it actually shows up more on my front yard (the backyard is mostly okay).

Sujatha said...

This book looks like a very good option indeed- includes crabgrass muffin recipes and thistle tea!