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Crimping invasive weeds?

 
Posts: 41
Location: North Idaho
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I have some areas of my homestead that are pretty much overtaken by the invasive weed yellowstar thistle. It is a nasty thorny plant up to 5 feet tall that makes it very painful to walk through my property and it does not have much value other than being a good honey plant. Anyways for now I want to reduce it's prevalence on my 7 acres and would rather have any other weed growing than it so I'm trying to come up with a cost effective and permaculture way to reduce it.  Most people in my area reccomend spraying it , which is the last thing I'd want to do. Two options I've thought about are just weedwhacking it and I've tried that, but it is back breaking since it covers such a large area. I've also thought about getting goats someday to help control it, but that is out of the picture for now. So I've been reading about how people use cover crops as mulch for their crops and that they terminate them by crimping them. It seems that with most annuals if you can crimp them right as they start to flower they won't have enough energy left in their roots to resprout and go to seed and they end up dying. Since yellowstar thistle is a winter annual weed I decided to experiment and try crimping it just as the flowers are starting to open. Based on what I've read about mowing it, if you do it too early it will resprout and grow more flowers, and if you wait too late some of the flowers will have already been pollinated and the seed will mature and be viable for the next season to sprout and grow a whole new generation. Since this timing works for mowing I decided to try it for crimping as well. So today that's what I did. I did not have any kind of crimper so I used a flathead shovel and if it is a success then I will probably build myself a manual crimper out of metal bar, a 2x4 and rope like some others I have seen.  But hopefully it works and I will post here with some updates. I'll also post some pictures to document the experiment.  
 
Travis Campbell
Posts: 41
Location: North Idaho
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Here are some pics of my experiment.










 
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