Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today I Will Kill Thistles

I'll bet you're thinking Thistles is the name of my neighbor's cat, the one that uses my flower bed as a litter box.

But no, I'm talking real thistles. They began taking over my garden in 2007. I was too busy promoting my book to plant anything. I instructed my husband to keep the weeds mowed, and I'd deal with the garden in 2008. Last summer, I spent an hour or two every morning digging weeds. I cleared enough space to grow one tomato plant, one zucchini, and one acorn squash. The rest of the garden I covered with cardboard and anchored it with good dirt and rocks.

With high hopes, I investigated my garden space as soon as the snow melted this spring. It was looking good. Two weeks later the thistles had grown through the cardboard. Another week and each tiny segment of thistle root I'd accidentally left in the ground had sprouted a new growth. This is the stuff that breeds science fiction and tales of horror.

You can imagine me on my killing spree today. I'll wear a straw hat, jeans, a long-sleeved flannel shirt, and gloves. I'll also wear a dust/allergy mask which won't protect me from the weed killer but will hopefully fend off pollen from the flowering trees. I'd wear a HazMat suit but I don't seem to have one lying around.

There obviously will not be a vegetable garden this year. But I'm thinking a layer of thick plywood with raised beds on top would work for next year. Thistles can't grow through plywood, can they?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good luck with the murdering of the thistles!

Whenever I hear the word 'thistles' I think about Eeyore. That was his sole diet, I believe. Maybe you could import Eeyore to live in your yard?

Mystery Writing is Murder

Anonymous said...

At least you can grow SOMETHING. I couldn't even grow a Thistle.

Karen Walker said...

I'm with Alexis. Total black thumb. I have this wonderful image now if you today, Patricia. Happy thistle hunting.

Galen Kindley said...

Is it just me, or, are your posts—and even your comments--getting more humorous and entertaining by the day. I mean that in a good way. Ever write comedy?

Since I’m retired, I’ve vowed to not let any weeds take hold. Actually, that’s pretty easy to do since the place is new as of January, ’09. Additionally, we have mostly rocks covering the ground..even in the planting beds…it’s a New Mexico thing. So far, so good.
Best Regards, Galen.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the slaughter-fest. LOL

You know, "Today I Will Kill Thistles" sounds like a good book title. Also a great metaphor for a post on killing those thistles in our lives and/or our books - hmmmm ...

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

K.B. Keilbach said...

I read on Yahoo! Answers that cutting the thistle flush with the ground, boring a hole in the root with a pocketknife, and then pouring rock salt dissolved in a little bit of water into the hole will eliminate them (and they won't come back). Don't know if it works or not but it'd be worth a try. Good luck!


Patricia Stoltey said...

Elizabeth, I was thinking about a goat but my husband said no. Probably the city has a rule against that too.

Alexis and Karen, try a Christmas cactus inside. It's really hard to kill those unless you water them too much. Outside, try herbs in pots (otherwise some of them will take over your yard worse than weeds).

Galen--Aw, shucks. You're so kind. I don't understand the humor thing. It's probably some favorable altering of brain chemistry. I eat a lot of yogurt and blueberries. LOL

Marvin--If you will use that Thistle line as a book title, I will buy your book! There's a title muse hanging out at my house these days (like the humor muse). I don't know where she came from, but she's lots of fun.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Kimberly, It probably would work because I killed a whole tree stump that way once. The number of thistles is a bit overwhelming, but maybe if we mowed them down first and then poured buckets of dissolved rock salt over the whole garden? Could I immediately grow veggies? Would they taste salty? So many questions.

Helen Ginger said...

My sister plants her garden in raised tubs. No weeds, no bugs and too high for the rabbits. She does have it fenced in to keep out the deer, though.

Straight From Hel

Jina Bacarr said...

I can picture you among the thistles in your cute straw hat--red flannel shirt?--weathered-brown gloves. Fun story.


The Berlin Sex Diary of Lady Eve Marlowe

N A Sharpe said...

I'm another one that can't grow anything but I'm a-rootin' for ya to kill the durn thistles. Great imagery. LOL, Eeyore comment!

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

The Practical Preserver said...

Send 'em this way. The goats love thistles.