Elizabeth vs Thistles

The ongoing saga of thistles…

As of April 2, the thistles outside the "Apple Tree Lane" enclosure are not too high.

As of April 2, the thistles outside the “Apple Tree Lane” enclosure are not too high.

But they clearly spread seeds over the wall (who knows when?) and seedlings are starting.

But they clearly spread seeds over the wall (who knows when?) and seedlings are starting.

Partial results from the April 3 weeding task. I was using a hoe at this point.

Partial results from the April 3 weeding task. I was using a hoe at this point.

By May 2, the thistles are getting dense outside the wall. Inside, they're coming back. Clearly a hoe is not an adequate tool for this job.

By May 2, the thistles are getting dense outside the wall. Inside, they’re coming back. Clearly a hoe is not an adequate tool for this job.

The clover is growing, with lots of thistles intermixed.

The clover is growing, with lots of thistles intermixed.

Mid-May and the outside is a tall jungle of thistles. We don't want Apple Tree Lane to ever get to this state!

Mid-May and the outside is a tall jungle of thistles. We don’t want Apple Tree Lane to ever get to this state!

So I bring out the dandelion machine.

So I bring out the dandelion machine.

But roots remain and I decide to add vinegar to my repertoire of strategies.

But roots remain and I decide to add vinegar to my repertoire of strategies.

A test patch (vinegar only, with no pulling out) shows that the leaves die but new shoots are back in a day or two. Thistle is persistent!

A test patch (vinegar only, with no pulling out) shows that the leaves die but new shoots are back in a day or two. Thistle is persistent!

As of May 17, I have pulled a gazillion thistles with the dandelion machine getting as much of the root as possible. Then I've poured vinegar down the holes (except near the trees). Time will tell if this works or not.

As of May 17, I have pulled a gazillion thistles with the dandelion machine getting as much of the root as possible. Then I’ve poured vinegar down the holes (except near the trees). Time will tell if this works or not.

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