Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thistles

Our farm is getting over run with thistles.  The goats eat some but not enough to keep them under control.  J usually bush hogs them in the summer but by the time he finishes with the hay and has time to bush hog, they have already bloomed.
 Our county has been giving away spray for multa flora rose control for several years.  Between the spraying and the goats we have gotten this invasive weed beat back.  So this year I decided to start spraying the thistles.
 Since we have this 4-wheeler now, we can mount the 15 gallon spray tank on the back.  It does take a little practice, gas with right hand, break with left hand and spray with both hands.
 I've been spot spraying for a month now.
It takes about 3 weeks for the thistle to die. First the top turns brown, then the whole plant turns yellow, then it shrivels up.  The problem with spot spraying is it's, well, spotty.  Also, since it takes 3 weeks for the plants to die, I have to remember where I've already sprayed.  I'm hoping to get the areas I see from the house good and maybe some paths through the worst of the other areas.  Maybe them the goats could get into them better.  It may take a few years, but for every one that I kill it's that many less seed for next year.

3 comments:

The Japanese Redneck said...

We bought one of the 25 gallon pull behind sprayers.

On Sunday, I propped a folded blanket and pillow on the rack where your hubby is putting his sprayer. I sat on my cushion and sprayed while my hubby drove me around.

Much easier for me that way. Took less than 30 minutes to spray 25 gallons. Whereas earlier in the week it took me several hours to handspray 11 gallons.

Aimee said...

How long after you spray is it safe for livestock to be back on the field? We rotate our horses every 2 weeks...

Crystal said...

Hmm I got a bunch of thistles I need to do something about too, maybe we need a sprayer for our quad.

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