How to Kill Thistles Organically - Without Chemicals

You're heard the saying about a weed being any plant growing where it isn't wanted?  I can tolerate a variety of "weeds" in a lawn, but thistles are not one of them.  Thistles are frustrating if you're trying to have a kid friendly lawn - what kid wants to walk barefoot on a prickly thistle?  Not mine.  So, what to do.  I don't want prickly weeds for my kids to step on but also don't want to use potentially dangerous chemicals on the lawn.

Here is one approach I've been using over the last year with good success.  It's a little unorthodox, but if you're stuck between a thistle and a chemical, it might just be worth a try for you.

 

Step 1: Purchase a Syringe

 

Yes, it's a little strange to use a syringe for organic weed control, but stay with me here.  There are a variety of places online that sell syringes...here's a 10 ml syringe that will work well available from a website I used.

Syringe

Step 2: Purchase Adios Organic Weed Killer

Adios Organic Weed Killer is a newer organic weed killer that works better than others on thistles.  There are a lot of organic weed and grass killers out there (like Burnout Organic Grass & Weed Killer) that work great at killing the above ground portion of plants but don't work so well at killing the roots.

Adios Thistle Remover

Burnout is perfect for spraying on weeds in your mulch beds and sidewalk cracks etc. but isn't ideal for spraying in the lawn.  Adios has some degree of an ability to travel into the plants root system and be absorbed giving it a much better chance to kill the entire plant, rather than just the above ground portion.

I've used the Adios Concentrate in my trials to date, but you might be able to get the same results with the ready to use Adios - I'll try that next.

Step 3: Mow the Lawn

Mowing should cut the top off the thistle and expose the stem.  If it doesn't to this, you can break off the top with your hand (heavy glove recommended).  Just try to weed it without pulling out the entire root.

Step 4: Apply Adios to Kill your Thistles

After you've cut the grass, get out your Adios and your syringe and fill the syringe with Adios by sucking it either directly out of the container or by pouring the adios into a bowl and sucking out of that. 

Insert the syringe needle into the stem of the thistle as far as you can and slowly push in the plunger to release the Adios into the stem.  If you pull the syringe out slightly as you press in the plunger, it will allow the adios into the stem more easily.  I usually do this twice on each plant.

Injecting Adios into a thistle

Step 5:  Soak the thistle with Adios from a Sprayer as well.

Go ahead and spray the leaves and into the stem with a ready to use Adios mixture to make sure you're getting as much adios into the plant as possible.  You can mix a batch of concentrate in a pump sprayer or just use a ready to spray bottle like the one pictured below.

Adios Sprayer

Step 6:  Watch the Thistle Disappear Slowly.

This is the fun part.  It will take some time.  If it doesn't seem affected after a week, try a reapplication.  This isn't a magic bullet, but it can be really effective and is a much better tool to get rid of thistles organically than we've ever had. 

More Information about How to Kill Thistles Without Chemicals

Thistles have a very invasive root system which is one reason why they are so difficult to get rid of.  The ideal time of the year to do these injections is in the late fall when the thistles are pulling all their energy into their roots - they'll pull the Adios into their root system most effectively when this is happening in the fall.  The thistles I injected this way last fall have yet to return and it's already July, so the results look very promising.  I have done some this summer that have not returned yet, but I won't be surprised if they do and I need to do a reapplication this fall. 

So, if you're trying to get rid of thistles, the best organic way I know of to do it is to inject Adios directly into the stem. 

Good Luck!

Most Recent

How To Stop Animals From Digging Up The Lawn

September 10, 2018 by Alec McClennan

There are a variety of critters who sometimes frequent our lawns and can cause issues while theyre looking for food. Moles tunnel under the ground and can create a mess, especially in the Spring. Skunks and Racoons are more of an issue in the Fall as they work to fatten up for winter. Why are Animals Digging In My Lawn? Animals will dig because theyre hungry. Moles, Skunks, and Racoons all eat a variety of worms, insects, and grubs. Just because you have Animals Digging, it does not mean that you have a grub problem. Animals will dig in search of food and return to places where theyve found food in the past. How Many Grubs is too Many? A healthy lawn can tolerate up to 5 grubs per square foot. An average size lawn is 5000 square feet, so that is 25,000 grubs! Its not possible to kill all the grubs, even if you resort to using a chemical that sits on the lawn for months. Using a natural grub suppression treatment like beneficial nematodes is a good idea to minimize one of the food sources

Urban Pesticide Use and Water Quality

July 03, 2018 by Danielle Kohan

Conventional lawn maintenance includes regular use of synthetic lawn chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, which are typically applied repeatedly throughout the season. After every application a portion of the chemical is taken up by the soil and plants, but the remainder may be washed away during rainstorms where it can make its way into streams and lakes. This type of pollution is known as runoff. There is already clear evidence that links runoff from roads and farms to pollution in rivers and lakes, but, more recently, research indicates that the contribution from urban lawns is also significant. These chemicals dont discriminate they act as fertilizers and pesticides wherever they go. Nutrient pollution from fertilizer is essentially a too much of a good thing type of problem. In lawns and on farms they are intended to help grow desired plants, but when this fertilizer reaches a lake it spurs the growth of aquatic plants and algae and may have negative effects. For example,

Starting Your Family's First Compost Project

April 09, 2018 by Maureen Wise

If your family is looking to reduce the weight of the trash can you pull to the curb every week, composting your organic waste could cut your landfill trash by up to 30%, according to the US EPA. By composting your kitchen scraps and garden waste instead of landfilling, youll also help reduce greenhouse gases produced by landfills and end up with a locally made plant fertilizer (local, as in your own backyard!). We like natural fertilizer here at Good Nature Organic Lawn Care and are here to help you with some steps to start your familys first compost project. Choosing Your Location There are lots of options of where to let your compost decompose. Ideally, you need a spot where the compost will get a bit wet but not saturated so under a tree or behind a shed are optimal spots. Youll also need to have your compost contained in some way. A rotating drum is a popular alternative. These models often have wheels which makes for easy dispersal of compost when ready but they can be on the pricier

"Making the world a little better place, one organic landscape at a time"
GET IN TOUCH
Cleveland (216) 641-9800
Columbus (614) 885-5296
Akron (330) 836-9800
fax(216) 641-9805
Good Nature Organic Lawn Care - Corporate
7621 Old Rockside Road
Cleveland, OH 44131
FOLLOW US
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

And always stay informed of the latest Good Nature news and events!

© 2015 Good Nature Organic Lawn Care. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by VirteomVirteom Logo