Anyone know what this prickle/weed is?

10 years 3 months ago #478516 by Negodil
Hi Bluey717. Definitely a Cali thistle, I have quite a few in my paddocks but a lot fewer now than four years ago! They have a wide spread root system from which a large number of apparently individual plants grow. Hence they appear in patches, but it's often really multiple shoots from a single root. I spot spray with Versatil. It kills the growth above ground in a few days but doesn't do much to anything around. It will knock clover a little if you spray a bit wildly so just a little is fine.

I also regularly mow/top/cut by hand, especially if rain is due. As others have said, the rain encourages a natural fungus to grow which the thistle is susceptible to. This has been proved by AgResearch and works well if done regularly but you do need the rain. If it doesn't rain, then this still helps because the more energy the plant uses to grow new shoots, the less it has for growing the root system.

Finally, the most important thing is to stop it seeding, that will just give more plants for the next few years.

You can get on top of it but it takes persistence over several years and then continued work to stop it coming back.

Good luck

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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