My "resting" garden plot has been invaded by several dozen tree-like
dandelions. Inattentive maintainance allowed this. At first I dug
the buggers up individually but the roots are 18-20" deep. Worse,
those that I have managed to dig out successfully show off-shooters
from broken or missed pieces.
I don't want to start throwing down my consumer-grade agent orange
but it's now reached epidemic proportions. My plot looks like I'm
cultivating the yellow buds for commercial distribution throughout
my neighborhood. Is there a way of ridding my garden area of these
pests without resorting to chemical purfication?
aw, last post, but: dandelions have been eaten for thousands of years.
They have no deadly or unedible cousins (though some are unpalatable).
specialized knowledge? you can buy their seeds at a number of seed
outlets, for intentional seeding of your garden (truth be told,
sometimes the seeds are the similar but separate blue flowered
chicorium). You take more chances with your well being when you eat
fava beans, asparagus, or parsley.
How much time do you have before you plant?
Weed what you can. Then do a very deep rototilling, and cover the area
with weighted down black plastic sheeting. Wait a week or two, repeat
pulling anything there, then rototilling and black plastic.
A whole lot of time; I wasn't going to use this particular plot this
spring and summer.
Won't the roots I miss still be there, though, when I take the
I once used old pieces of carpet pretty successfully at retarding
weed-spread and growth but it was a major hassle when the carpeting
started to break down.
That is why the "lather, rinse repeat." You'll cut the plague
considerably. If you have the time, this will work well after awhile.
And you need a good size rototiller, too.
Why not seed with something you can till in to enrich the soil next
year? It may help to smother out the weeds.
OH, I bet it was. The plastic lasts awhile and is pretty easy to get
up in one piece.
I tend not to use chems as a first line, but frankly, if you are not
going to use the plot this year and the dandelions are that ferocious,
Roundup or similar may be the way to go, but you'll still need to use
a cover later. I will use Preen on flower beds once they are tidied,
but not the edibles, even though they say it is fine.
I really hate weeding and do a lot of my gardening in large tubs now.
If you are not growing strictly organic, try Roundup. According to
their information it breaks down as soon as it hits the soil. Anything
sprayed on the plant itself kills leaves and roots. I have used it,
even in the garden and have not been poisoned.
"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
Here in SE Virginia and NE North Carolina my wife and I run a
landscaping/yard cleanup business. When we run into monster weeds like
yours, especially the "pokeweed" we get around here, we have found that
Roundup is a pretty good "safe" chemical. We pull as much as we can trying
to remove as much root as possible. Anything remaining above ground gets
sprayed and if we notice a taproot tip missing a good soaking in the hole
usually gets enough on the remainder underground to prevent recurrence.
Don't go for the namebrand either, Home Depot and places like John Deere
stores sell concentrates as formulated as high as 90% sodium glyphosate and
a little underdiluting when mixing doesn't hurt and increases the likelihood
of a sure kill. Good luck.
I believe dandelions reproduce by new seeding. I do a careful job of removing
the yellow flowers before they go to seed. Another choice is the pre-emergence
applications you can put down to prevent new seedlings from sprouting up. Do
early enough in Spring to catch them in time. This will also stop your grass
spreading, which also does so by natural re-seeding. That may be a necessary
evil, until you get the dandelions under control.
The Ranger wrote:
If these really are dandelions run some fence around your garden and turn a goat
loose. I keep trying to establish dandelion on my land. The goats and sheep
clean them up before they can bloom. I guess they are after the high iron
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