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Thistles in my clover????
Had 2 clover plots drilled in March 2016. West central Missouri. One is 4 acres and one is 6 acres.
Clover actually looking good this year in Feb, BUT...
Just got word that the "thistle" are taking over. Was told that there are 100's of them. All about 9-12" in diameter and 2" tall.
Thinking about trying to spot spray them. Using 41% glyphosate at a 2% mixture, with a wetting agent. Plan is to wait 10 days and hit it again, spraying what I might have missed..
that might be the best approach. I have controlled small infestations that way.
Despite my best efforts to limit the mist cloud, I end up killing a 12" diameter each time I spot spray.
If it's regular thistle it's not easy but you can get rid of it. If it's Canadian thistle good luck.
Was it always in this plot or What percent of noxious weeds was in your mix you planted. Should be listed on the bag.
I would definitely mow it first....my experience has been that will control 90% of thistle and broad leafs.
Y'all ever hear of a weed wiper ? Google it ! I have one I adapted to my golf cart. It's a simple pvc boom covered in canvas. You mix your gly pretty stout and wipe the weeds with the wet canvas and the weeds die. I use it to kill behia grass after it gets tall enough that I don't kill my bermuda. The behia specific herbicide is expensive ! Gly is cheap ! I usually wipe them one direction and then turn around and go over them the opposite way. They come in all sizes, I even have one that's about the size of a hockey stick. I use that around the house for problem weeds. Might work for you.
If I was going to spot spray I would use 2-4-d. Get em now before they get any bigger. Rosetta stage is best
Sounds like a job for a pair of gloves.
2,4-D will kill your clover too. 2,4-DB (Butyrac) won't kill your clover. Not sure how effective it is on thistle, though.
Your description sounds like bull thistle. Does it form a dense circular mat completely covering the ground? If so, 2016 was it's first year and it will form a tall stalk and seed heads this year.
Use the gly, but keep the pressure in your backpack so low that you just dribble on to it.
You can also take a small spade (about 4" across) and cut down below the surface to kill it.
I'm over by Moore, and thistle is just a way of life. Canadian is terrible on my wet grounds.
If it headed out the best approach is to bag it one by one. If you mow it after its headed, its "omg wtf have I done"..lol. Sounds like you caught it early, so spot spray, burn, or spade may be best option.
Thanks for the replys.
It has NOT got a head on it yet. just plate size and short.
NEVER had a thistle in the plot before. First year they have showed up.
Bought a 25 gallon ATV sprayer. Going to experiment with water to get the spray pattern down first, then heading to the food plots.
Whatever you do MOW IT before it heads out. It is a nightmare, and if you get it established, plow down and plant a Roundup ready summer annual for a couple years to kill it out. IN 1963 we had a tornado destroy our famr and most of our livestock. We bought a bunch of shorthorn cows that had thistle burrs in their hair. The farm has had thistle covered pastures ever since
I'd ignore it. The deer will eat around it and the finches will love ya!
Some thistle can be waxy and the spray is not effective.
Add some soap (like dawn dishsoap) as a wetting agent, really helps with thistle.
Go to your farm supply and buy a quality surfactant instead of the Dawn. It's not expensive and will help a lot.
I have a couple back pack 3 gallon sprayers. About $100 and a 40 gallon tow sprayer. For what you are doing, spot spraying, the backpack is far more efficient and easier to use.
Buy a pint of red dye from the farm supply. Expensive but worth it. I will allow you to wander around and know if you have sprayed there.