Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | October 13, 2016

Got Thistles?


The past few years I hadn’t noticed many thistles out on properties.  For some reason, this year, they have popped up all over.  You can Google and learn that some countries, counties, states and cities have laws against having these very aggressive weeds on your property.

We first learned about thistles almost two decades ago when we purchased our property.  A friend pointed out the pretty purple flowers in our orchard.  They were very concerned and cautioned against touching them.  You’ll only do that once – feels like a million splinters.  We were also encouraged and shown how to get rid of them.  Just dig with a pointed shovel and you will see a short tap root. Tip the plant over.  The tap root is the only part of the plant you can touch without being miserable.  Pick it up by the tap root and put it in the trash.

That day we dug up 19 thistles.  The next year we found only three plants.  Occasionally we spot one or two. However, this year several have shown up in a couple new areas.  One step with a shovel and they were gone.  It is best to catch them before the flowers die and spread the seeds to come up in next spring’s rains.

Happy shoveling!  Or, if you’d rather leave it to someone else, try the ‘Local Resources’ on the Fire Safe Council’s website:



  1. Wait a minute!!!!

    That’s the National Flower of Scotland!!!

    Bring them over to my yard!


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