Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sign of the Heart

A neighbor and I were talking last week and he told me about mowing Canada Thistle in the sign of the heart and the weeds dying.  I looked it up and here it is

"There are certainly many control methods offered by specialists and others who claim success in killing this weed.  If you’ve been around older farmers who follow moon signs, then you might have heard this one:  “Mow Canada thistle when the (zodiac) sign is in the heart and they will bleed out and die”.

Well, unfortunately there isn’t research to back up this method.  Some specialists offer that a combination of practices including mowing, tillage and herbicide application can effectively control Canada thistle.  Other ideas have been researched including planting Sudangrass in early June as a summer cover crop in areas heavily affected by Canada thistle.  There is on-going research by the University of Illinois with northern Illinois farmers planting Sudangrass.  Findings from this study are that the Sudangrass out competes Canada thistle because it grows taller and basically smothers it  .

Weed scientists do agree that an herbicide application to control Canada thistle is most effective in the fall.   This is because the plant is looking to recharge its root system for a flush of growth around the time of the first frost.  A systemic herbicide with active ingredients such as glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba, or aminopyralid applied at this time will move to the same plant parts as the carbohydrates needed for growth.

Some recent research suggests that fall applications of herbicides to control Canada thistle can wait until late October or early November.  Mark Loux, an Ohio State University Extension specialist, feels that herbicides are most active after a frost with perennial weeds.  He notes that Canada thistle should be 8 to 12 inches tall when applying herbicide in the fall (Ohio State C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2010-33)."

Canada thistle is making a comeback even though glyphosate seemed to wipe it out for awhile.  It hasn't been this heavy since we started using Basagran to control thistle 30 years ago.

I have a bunch to wipe out so I've been reading up on it and thought it might make a good topic today.

Ed Winkle

3 comments:

  1. Well I took some astrology courses in my youth, even drew some birth charts for friends and family, but I didn't even know there were signs of body parts. By the way, the "sign of the heart" is Leo, the lion. Here's a calendar for the Moon's position: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/zodiac/

    While I would understand that the Moon's position or distance to the Earth has a minuscule effect on plants (after all, tides are partly governed by it), I don't think that the Moon's position compared to zodiacal constellations that are made of stars completely unrelated to each other and billions of miles away from us, has any influence on weeds...

    You can't wait for a fall application though, that won't affect the millions of seeds in the field, it's one of the weeds like curly dock and a few others that should never be let to seed, Not sure why Canada is taking the blame, it came from Europe originally...

    So, when are the weeding robots coming out already? ;)

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  2. I think the key word is miniscule.

    Weeding robots, now you are on to something Chimel!!!

    Ed

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