Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds

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How to grow Thistle flowers. It is also considered Thistle weed plants growing in fields. Cardinals love the seeds. The Gardener's Network. Can Birdseed Start Weeds in Your Yard?. If you’re inviting flocks of birds to visit your yard by enticing them with birdseed, you may also be inviting weeds. When seed falls from the feeder to the ground there is potential for germination. This is not a problem with all types of bird food. By being a conscientious … Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds A Fast-Spreading, Difficult-to-Control Perennial Plant with Prickly Leaves Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur posuere, velit at

How to Grow Thistle Flowers – – or Thistle Weeds

Thistle plants are a wildflower. Thistle is an invasive weed. Depending upon who you talk to, they are either interested in growing thistle flowers to feed the backyard birds, or trying to get them out of the lawn or backfield. There are hundreds of varieties, many of which, are invasive. They quickly spread through pastures. Cows will not graze near them. Others are grown by gardeners for their flowers. Many of these gardeners, also grow thistle to attract finches to their yards. Goldfinches just love the seeds.

Here are some comments we’ve heard about this plant:

  • “Thistle is a flower, which gardeners enjoy growing.”
  • “To me, these plants are nothing more than an invasive weed, and not easy to control.”
  • “Thistle plants are great to have around the yard to attract goldfinches.”
  • “I love Milk Thistle. Its milky sap serves my medical ailment.”

Boy, if you were a thistle plant, you’d probably have a personality complex, suffering from multiple personalities. There is indeed a love-hate relationship….. either you love it, or you hate this plant.

Milk Thistle has medicinal applications and has been in use since the Roman Empire. Most notably, it has been used to treat liver ailments. It has also been used to treat kidney and spleen problems.

What Birds like Thistle Seeds? All kinds of finches, most notably, goldfinches, like the seeds. Mourning Doves, and Juncos, a type of Sparrow, also like thistle. The seeds have lots of fats, nutrients, and protein. They are great for your winter bird feeder.

Did You Know? Artichokes are a member of the Thistle family.

Flowers Bloom: Summer

Flower Colors: Most flowers are Purple. However, there are varieties that produce varying shades of blue, pink, purple, and yellow.

Can Birdseed Start Weeds in Your Yard?

Many of the plants that grow from birdseed can be classified as weeds. In fact, Oregon State University warns that birdseed is known for creating weed infestations. Most commercial seed mixes contain only a small percentage of seed that birds find desirable, with the rest being filler seed species, such as red millet and sorghum, that end up on the ground and grow into weeds.

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It is easy to identify plants from birdseed by their seedy heads, which self-sow prolifically if left to grow. Fortunately, there are several strategies to prevent the mess while still attracting seasonal and year-round birds to the garden.

Birdseed can start a variety of different weeds in the garden, so it is best to use a low-mess or no-waste birdseed.

Use No-Waste Birdseed

One of the most straightforward solutions for curbing weed growth from birdseed is to purchase no-waste birdseed. Birdseed makes a weedy mess when it is scattered on the ground in part because the seed is minimally processed and still able to germinate. No-waste birdseed comes pre-hulled so that it can’t germinate if it lands on the ground. Sometimes called ‘low-waste’ or ‘mess-free’ birdseed, this variety is more expensive than many other birdseed blends, but it will prevent weeds while keeping wild birds fed.

Another option is creating a homemade blend of birdseed that contains only the seed types that are most desirable to birds, which will help ensure that the birds eat them all rather than scattering them on the ground. The University of New Hampshire Extension recommends creating a birdseed mix with 50 percent sunflower seeds, 35 percent proso white millet and 15 percent cracked corn. This mix will attract a variety of birds to a feeder, particularly if you locate the seed in different feeders around the garden.

Choose the Right Feeder

Choosing the right feeder can help eliminate the seed waste that causes weed infestation by providing a more efficient feeding experience catered to the species of bird. Different types of birds respond to different types of feeders. Tube feeders will attract small birds that like to hang upside down while foraging, such as chickadees and goldfinches, while hopper-style feeders work best for larger birds, such as grosbeaks and cardinals, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Platform feeders work well for a variety of birds depending on whether they are hung high in a tree or placed near the ground.

Positioning a bird feeder wisely will also help prevent a weedy birdseed mess. Oregon State University recommends positioning a tray beneath the bird feeder to catch any spillage. Placing the feeder over a concrete patio or driveway where seeds can’t germinate also helps prevent a weed infestation. Be sure to sweep up any seeds that do spill on the ground immediately after you notice them.

Create Bird-Friendly Landscaping

A well-stocked bird feeder is one way of attracting birds to the garden, but a more sustainable and less messy alternative is to plant landscaping that provides habitat and food for birds instead. The University of Missouri Extension recommends studying the habitat needs of the types of birds you hope to attract. For instance, birds such as the goldfinch prefer to eat and linger in shrubby landscapes, while meadowlarks prefer open, meadowlike spaces. American robins like tall trees and open fields, so the typical yard with a shade tree will appeal to them.

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The right environment will attract birds, but planting flowers, shrubs and trees that provide a source of food will encourage them to linger. Cornflowers (Echinacea purpurea, zones 3a-8a) will provide food with their seed heads during the winter months, as will the ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), which grows perennially within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3a to 9a, according to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. Trees such as the persimmon (Diospyros virginiana, zones 4a-9a) and coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, zones 2-7) both provide food for birds in winter with their fruit and nuts.

Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds

A Fast-Spreading, Difficult-to-Control Perennial Plant with Prickly Leaves

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What Are Thistles?

The term Thistle is used for a variety of wildflowers and weeds, mostly part of the sunflower family. Generally, Thistle leaves have sharp prickles along the edges of their leaves and along their stems to act as a defense against grazing wildlife. All varieties produce flowers, usually purple or yellow, and spread through seed. In the Fall, the flowers frequently produce puffy, white fluff attached to the seeds to ride the wind and spread seeds farther. Some varieties do also spread through rhizomes. All varieties have deep roots, often taproots, that can grow multiple feet underground. The plant itself can grow up to six feet tall. Thistles are found in nearly all eastern States in the U.S, as well as Quebec to Manitoba in Canada.

In Ohio and Indiana, Thistles can be fast-spreading and difficult to control weed. While birds and butterflies may like it, people walking barefoot through a lawn generally find its prickly leaves to be painful.

What Causes Thistles?

Thistles thrive in dry soil without a lot of nutrients in full sun. They tend to grow in the least tended part of properties and especially in fields and prairies.

How Can I Get Rid Of Thistles?

We recommend being diligent about removing the weed, by plucking it as frequently as you find it. Use heavy gloves and pull the weed at the base of the stem. If you are pulling weeds right after a rain, Thistles will be easy to eradicate. We also recommend Weed Out , a weed pulling tool that can be very helpful during drier weather. You might even try filling the hole left behind with Burnout , an organic weed and grass killer, to try to kill the root a little more effectively. If this weed has really taken hold in your property, a spot chemical weed control spray in the Fall or Spring will work best. We’ve also had good results directly injecting an organic weed killer into Thistles with a syringe . While this method is a bit unorthodox, and maybe a bit more time-intensive, it really gets the job done!

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How Can I Prevent Thistles?

The most common variety of Thistle we see is Canada Thistle. Canada Thistle has a deep and extensive root system that is difficult to eliminate. Your best bet for preventing Canada Thistle is to continually remove or treat what you see to prevent it from getting energy from the sun and spreading by seed. In addition, feed your soil and grass to keep it healthy and competitive with the Thistle! We strongly advocate for mowing high every time, three to four inches, so that your grass will grow deeper roots. Only give your grass an inch of water per week and only water once a week. We recommend Good Nature Earth Turf Spring , our natural fertilizer, which will help achieve lawn thickness. Our general Ohio and Indiana recommendation for lawn grass is a mix of 5% Microclover, 90% Turf Type Tall Fescue, and 5% Kentucky Bluegrass for our region of the United States. We sell a premade mix: our Tuff Turf Lawn Seed provides the Turf Type Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass and we also sell bags of Microclover . You can Slice Seed this mixture of grass into your existing lawn where you have thinner patches.

What Can I Do About Thistle?

You can stay diligent with removing the weed, by plucking it as you see it. Weed Out, a weed pulling tool, is very helpful for this. You might even try filling the hole left behind with Burnout, an organic weed and grass killer, to try to kill the root a little more effectively. Adding 1-2 additional Natural Weed Buster applications each season can also help provide extra Thistle suppression, without chemicals. If this weed really bothers you, a spot chemical weed control spray in the Fall or Spring will work best.

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