What are your worst plant enemies?
I have a severe problem with quackgrass (aka couchgrass, Elymus repens), which I have struggled with for over a decade. I don’t use any chemicals in my garden, so it means a great deal of elbow grease is necessary. While I have made significant inroads, I cannot ever let my guard down!
One plant enemy I am so glad I don’t have in my garden is Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). Are thistles a problem where you live?
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CANADA THISTLE:
- Canada thistle is not a native of Canada. It actually has its origins in Mediterranean Europe.
- Another common name for Canada thistle is creeping thistle…as in, it “creeps you out” with its insane root system.
- Each plant can produce up to 5,000 seeds.
- Each seed can remain viable in the soil for up to 20 years.
- Just 8 to 10 days after flowers emerge, plants can already produce viable seed.
- Canada thistle reproduces by seed AND by vegetative cloning – a double whammy.
- New plants can form from the tiniest of root segments – just 1/8 – 1/4″ thick and 3/8″ long. This is why pulling and digging don’t work very well.
- The tap root of each plant can reach 20 feet underground in a single growing season. Isn’t that incredible?
(For more information about Canada thistle, check out http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/canada_thistle_control)