A most annoying weed with no known purpose or benefit, Canada Thistle is a hardy perennial that easily reproduces, thus making it difficult to keep under control. Known to grow in height from one to five feet tall, it also has a root system that can exceed 3 feet deep. They prefer areas that are hot and dry, and can tolerate several different types of soils. Canada Thistle will flower throughout the summer with a pinkish purple blossom that contains several hundred seeds in a head similar to that of the Dandelion. Canada Thistle will reproduce through the use of its root system, spreading shoots that eventually create new plants.
Canada Thistle can be controlled though the use of a broadleaf herbicide. Mowing can also be an effective means of suppressing the spread of seed heads before they develop in the plant. Proper cultural practices can also go a long way to prevent future outbreaks of Canada Thistle and reduce the use of herbicides. A regular fertilizer program, combined with weekly watering and using a mowing height of 2 ½ to 3 inches will create a thick vigorous lawn which will help to prevent the germination of Canada Thistle and other seeds that may blow in from the surrounding areas.
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