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Mother nature is at it again.

 
gardener
Posts: 868
Location: N. California
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What you need to know is our lawn, or what we call a lawn is just a bunch of weeds we mow.  We rarely water it, like almost never. (I use the water on veggies, and trees,ect.) It gets very dry and sparse in the summer. I live in Northern California zone 9b.  This year we have even less of everything. It looks like the middle of Summer already, and it's still spring.  We have a lot of new weeds we haven't seen before.  This morning my daughter showed me a pretty new weed. I knew I'd seen it before, just not in our yard. It's a thistle. The plant identifier app called it a Blessed thistle.  
Later in the day I got a Strictly Medical Seed catalog.  I was browsing through it and came up on the blessed thistle I read the info on it and have to show my daughter.  She laughed and read the part where it says "said to dispel evil and prevent the plague. ". She said we better keep it because there's a lot of evil around here, and we are going through a plague.  Ok a pandemic isn't exactly a plague, but it's interesting it showed up now.  We will probably let a few grow.  Now I'm just playing, it probably has more to do with the drought, and soil condition. Either way mother nature is amazing, and there is probably some purpose besides amusing my daughter and I, so we will let a few grow.  I'm sharing this because I love it when coincidence, or strange things come together that makes me think there is so much more going on in our world than we understand.
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Posts: 58
Location: Central Texas
9
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I spent 12hrs this weekend pulling those by hand and still not done. I highly suggest you remove it but I’ll tell you what I observed while painstakingly (literally) removing them. Lady bugs love them. I saw tons of them on there. Also I can’t say percentage wise but enough times to take notice there was a worm by the taproot.

Everywhere I have these cows ignore in about a 3 foot circle around the plant. I I can totally understand why. The thorns are insane. And the spread like crazy. I had none last year and covered this year. I’ve only had my place a little over a year and this week I’m doing a soil sample to see what’s missing so I can amend ASAP
 
Joe Hallmark
Posts: 58
Location: Central Texas
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Maybe it’s just me being anti permi idk. But I was losing a crazy amount of usable grass. Maybe I need to be open minded. Just grumpy bc so many things keep going poorly on the new farm :/
 
Joe Hallmark
Posts: 58
Location: Central Texas
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Lol literally the first article that pops up say they breath life into soil. Hard to change mindset when you just react without researching I guess 🤦🏻‍♂️
 
pioneer
Posts: 154
Location: Michigan - Zone 6a
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We have creeping thistle here, and it spreads via the roots as well as airborne seed, so it's hard to get rid of. We left a small patch on the edge of a hill/cliff, but if we see it anywhere else we get rid of it and we clip off the flower heads when they appear.

I like how the flowers look though, so it's a bit of a shame that it's so painful to walk into.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Posts: 868
Location: N. California
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Thanks for the comments.  Joe don't be too hard on yourself.  I totally understand where you are coming from.  You have me rethinking leaving them.  I don't think it's antipermies to want them out.  It would be antipermies to kill everything and put in cement.  Sure permaculture is about working with nature not against it. But you need to be able to do what you need to do.   Thistles improve the soil, great, but there are lots of other plants that improve the soil that won't cause pain if you happen to brush up against it.  
I like the flowers too.  Our front yard is fenced, and basically for the dogs.  We only sit on the porch to be with them,  so I thought it would be nice to look at.  I'm so glad I posted this, because I know we won't be good at cutting off the flowers, and if you can't enjoy the flowers what is the point.  We will be removing them ASAP.  Thanks.  My plan is to plant buffalo grass this a fall, or next spring.  Water shortage prevent me from doing it now.  I have been thinking about cardboard and wood chips to improve the soil, but I worry it will hurt the dogs feet.  Anyway that's probably another post.  Thanks
 
Posts: 11
Location: Barnardsville, NC
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Seems like it would be a good border plant for me to keep my chickens out of certain planting beds!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3457
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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Since you've decided to remove them... Eat the weeds!
 
Jen Fulkerson
gardener
Posts: 868
Location: N. California
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Stephanie I think you are right, but it sounds like to me the challenge would be keeping it where you want it, and not spread where you don't.
Thanks Joylynn.  My daughter came in last night and said it's suppose to be good for diabetes, she said she should make some tea and make dad drink it! (he doesn't like tea, and according to my daughter it's a cure all)
 
master steward
Posts: 5421
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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We have bull thistle and sow thistle, like crazy.  I started attacking them maybe in January by covering them with whatever I could find.  My problem is they are where I walk the dog.  The one I couldn't cover, I attacked them with a hoe just to keep them from going to seed.

I know the medicinal value but I also have 40 acres where they can grow.

Bull thistle has a pretty bloom like in Jen's picture.

 
pollinator
Posts: 2635
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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So we have some weeds that go bonkers, canadian thistle being one and curly dock the other. I stopped trying to pull them up. Now I just let them bloom and go to seed, the chop off all the seeds and burn them. Just chopping them had the curly dock, in particular, going into hyper drive.
 
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