- I have to leave the blossoms in the black bags to decompose so they wont start new plants. I don't know how long that will take, but I really don't care. My work on those is done.
- I need to rake up the dead, dry stalks and leaves into my already begun stacks, in preparation for burning. Old ones from years past are all over the ground, but I can't really get to them until everything has dried a little more.
- I need to let the stalks dry out a little, then I can burn them. Thank goodness, I don't have to bag any more of them as I did in the beginning. I called the County to find out, and they told me that I can burn them. I have to call and check with them before I burn, that day or the day before. If there is not a burn restriction order, I simply have to inform them so that if people call about the smoke, they will know to not send the firefighters out. If there is a restriction (if it dries out before I decide to burn, the danger will be elevated) then I have to have a permit to burn. But, the bottom line is, I can burn those suckers!!! I already bagged 10 of those huge contractor's trash bags full before I learned I could burn, and if I had to bag what is left it would be about that much or more!! Whew.
- I need to walk the property at least every three days, looking for new plants and zapping them with RoundUp. Pulling them won't necessarily work because if you break off a piece of the main root, it can grow back.
- I will begin again with the first showing of green in the spring, and as soon as I can identify the thistles from the other plants, to hit them with RoundUp. This will have to continue as in the previous step, throughout all of next spring, summer and fall. After that? Who knows? I will have to be vigilant forever.
One thing I hated about cutting all those down is that the bees, butterflies and other critters were loving that thistle patch. The blossoms are fragrant, and they were constantly after the nectar. I hated to take away their dining hall. I do, however, have other wild flowers around the property, and I suspect it will be enough.
So the battle is won, although the war continues. Let's hope this doesn't last as long as that war that is so often in the news these days.
Hey! Just sayin'!!