How can I rid my grass and flower beds of thistle safely for animals

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My lawn and flower bed are being overtaken by these prickly weeds. We used weed n feed at appropriate times but they are even more aggressive.

q how can i rid my grass and flower beds of thistle safely for animals
  9 answers
  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Oct 15, 2018

    Thistles are in many bird feeders. The birds eat the seed and poop them back out on your yard. Wear gloves and pull is the best solution.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Oct 15, 2018

    Hi Chris,

    There are a couple of methods that have worked for me. One is vinegar - with a few drops of Dawn. Spray it on the plants making sure it's entirely covered as best as you can. The vinegar will kill the plants. The Dawn helps it stick to the plants. It will take a few days for it to die but it does work. Some people add salt to the mixture. That works ONLY if you don't want anything to grow in that spot for a year or so. Salt "contaminates" the soil so that nothing will grow.


    Another method is to pour boiling water over each plant. That will kill it immediately. If used on a lawn it will probably kill a small amount of grass too, but that will come back. I hope this helps you.

  • Pem11866416 Pem11866416 on Oct 15, 2018

    Give them a little dose of vinegar from a squirt bottle or hot water... No sooner said than done....

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 15, 2018

    If you pull them when they aren't very big, it is easy to get the whole tap root. That is the easiest way for me to get rid of them. Whatever you do, catch them before the flower to avoid even more plants.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 16, 2018

    I know you don't want to use something that's not safe for animals but if you do use just a spritz of Round Up--only on the plant--thistle responds very quickly to the Round Up--and then you can pull them up so the roots are gone. If you reach down under the lower leaves there is not much for stickers there--if your ground is damp they will pull right up. Or wear heavy garden gloves. Let them dry out completely and toss them in a place where you don't care if there is thistle. I am lucky to have woods on the edge of my property so the dead thistle go there.

  • Kco28677910 Kco28677910 on Oct 16, 2018

    Thistle can be killed by pouring boiling water on the plant. It boils through the root and seed tip. Works like a charm, every time.

  • Janet in NC Janet in NC on Oct 24, 2018

    To get rid of thistle you need to pull it up roots and all. The weed creates a lot of

    runners so several plants might be attached to it. Good luck.

  • Holapuk Holapuk on Nov 07, 2018

    Cut the plant off at ground level and just cover just the remaining stem with a little salt.

  • Julie Johnson Julie Johnson on Aug 27, 2019

    Growing up we always put just a tad of salt right in the middle of the thistle and it killed them. Without killing the grass permanently as someone else mentioned.

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