Curing the Gardening Phobia

Canada Thistle

Recently I read a book called Do the Work by Steven Pressfield, a quick read and full of useful ideas. One that struck a chord with me was the author’s suggestion that doing research is a method of procrastination. That hit home. I love to research…but it does eat up time…then I walk around claiming to be thinking….

Well, this time I needed to know everything about Canada Thistle, since I was faced with so much of it. Before I hit on my plan, I had spent some time on my knees, with my maroon plastic-handled weeder, digging out a bunch of nasty thistle from a bed on the north side. Feeling fierce, I dug deep and bore the stickers coming through my dirty gloves.

Then I got my plan for 1-hour gardening, and I had to stop to research those thistles. Why was I suddenly in need of advice? I really wanted some praise for my previous heroic efforts. Didn’t happen. I found out that the best way to beat thistles is to just cut them off at ground level. They say that the root system is so tough that the best way to ultimately get rid of thistles is to kill the root system by eliminating the leaves above ground. In fact, digging out the roots tends to leave the root system cut into bits, leaving it more able to product twice as many thistles!

All the stickers through my gloves for nothin’! Even chemical control, they say, only works in combination with cultural and mechanical control (weeding).

More than one site explained that even the strongest topical herbicides won’t kill an infestation in one application. So, I’ve settled on the organic method, which I described above…that is, persistently cutting it off at ground level.

It’s like a lot of unpleasant things in life…we can decide that it’s too difficult to attack our problems and leave them to fester…or we can get on our knees and at least get some satisfaction from one small victory after another.

I have a very sharp new pair of pruning shears, and I’m committed to my daily 1-hour of natural prayer.

A surprise gift…swamp white oak sapling

We're in this together! Let us know what you think!