Pesky Lawn Weeds

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We started having weed problems (mostly dandelion) in our lawn last summer I & was hoping to get some tips for better control this year. I've seen several posts from people saying manually removing weeds is the best bet, but each time I've tried that I either don't get the roots or leave huge pot holes in my lawn. I've tried several weed removal tools (i.e. "as seen on tv" weed pullers) that also leave the big holes. I will start using Scott's spring fertilizer with weed control soon, but it didn't seem to help much last year. Has anyone had luck with any brand of lawn friendly herbicides? Any weed removal gardening tool suggestions? Any tips for this lawn care newbie would be appreciated :).
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js snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (JeffLaw) wrote:

It sounds like your lawn is not very healthy. A good vigorous lawn will crowd out weeds. It will not leave big holes when weeds are removed. It could be a pH problem. The fertilizer will do little good if the yard is too acid. You may need to lime before fertilizing. A good soil test may be in order. It will tell you the pH, how to correct the pH and what fertilizer if any you need.
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(JeffLaw) wrote:

lawn last

this year.

weeds is

get the

weed
leave the

weed
anyone
weed removal

newbie would

lawn will

removed.
if the

good soil

the pH

I would second the above, and suggest spraying just the weeds with weed-b-gon using a handheld trigger sprayer. Once you have the lawn growing good, wolking around with the sprayer a few times a year will eliminate the weeds without the expense or environmental risk of massive chemical applications.
If you only fertilize once per year, do it in the fall.
Bob
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On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 15:06:50 -0800, JeffLaw wrote:

Mechanical weed removal works fine. I have used a combination of that and Weed-B-Gon. This method works great on dandelions, creeping charlie and other broadleaf pests. I usually make 2-3 applications over the entire lawn at 2-3 week intervals. Eradicating creeping charlie works best if you can hit the plant when it is blooming, a period in its life when all the plant's energy goes into bloom production thereby weakening it a bit.
There's nothing wrong with chemicals as long as one uses common sense and can read/follow instructions to the letter.
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At the risk of starting a huge flame war (and hasn't it been quiet in that regard lately?), not all chemical weed controls are exactly benign. I would encourage the OP to consider something other than a combo weed'n feed type product. This is probably the most inefficient and problematic use of chemical herbicides. Run off with this type of material is flagrant - there is more pollution of streams and ground water from residential use of weed and feed products than from any other form of pesticide. Much better to use manual control whenever possible or spot treat persistant perennial type weeds rather than a broadcast granular product.
http://www.huronview.on.ca/gardening_04.html
pam - gardengal
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On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:00:03 +0000, Pam - gardengal wrote:

I always felt that runoff is problematic with regard to lawn treatment. After hearing several lectures by turfgrass experts from the university's turfgrass facility, I am now of a different opinion. Fertilizers and chemicals do not wash off lawns and into streams and lakes. They go into the soil which acts as a giant filter. Chemicals in use now have a short life of just a few weeks. The only way to get chemicals to our waterways is to physcially dump them in storm sewers.
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Do you realize that what you have written in NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT??!! You will be flamed, flayed, flocculated and driven from this newsgroup!
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On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 09:03:40 -0500, Eileen Dover wrote:

I'm doomed. There are black Suburbans with tinted windows in front of my house as I write. The ornamental grasses are providing cover for the oncoming assault. There's something moving near the compost heap. It's more than bushes swaying in the wind, it's camo troops. I can hear a distant rumble, not thunder but tanks and heavy artillery.
This will be my last missive for the garden police are about to storm the premises.
I can't find my can of Raid. Send donuts. Maybe I can bait my traps and catch them all.
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removal
and
and
all
bit.
and
that
would
type
there
weed
use
Then perhaps you can explain why all of our local area streams and water courses have been tested and found to be contaminated with unnaturally high concentrations of 2, 4-D, trifluralin, dicamba and various other herbicides most commonly found in weed and feed applications? And this is not just a localized phenomenon - it is wide spread throughout the country and not just in heavy agricultural areas. The information provided to your by your turfgrass "experts" simply does not fit the facts. A simple google search will turn up dozens of hits attesting to this. Herbicide and fertilizer pollution of is a huge concern, not to mention that stuff can be rather deadly to pets and small kids as well. Do your own research - don't rely just on what folks with a vested interest in the process have to say. Turfgrass 'experts' are unlikely to offer information that is counterproductive to their source of income or could conceivably be considered more work.
pam - gardengal
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On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 15:51:03 +0000, Pam - gardengal wrote:

Thanks. One day I hope to know as much as you.
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Dandelion is very easy to eradicate. It is a broadleaf plant. Not seeing your lawn makes it difficult to recommend a specific procedure. If there are less than 200 plants, use a spot treatment by mixing up Weed-B-Gone or Spectricide in a pressurized garden sprayer. I prefer the "water-proof" products where it does not matter if it rains after 6 hours. Apply the treatment on a sunny dry day.
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removal
and
and
all
bit.
and
that
would
type
there
weed
use
I lived in a farming area much of my life. After seeing the tons and tons of chemicals farmers used on their crops every year, I fail to understand the fuss about home owners using a few pounds of fertilizers and weed killers on their lawns two or three times a year.
Hound Dog

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of
on
A "few pounds of fertilizers and weed killers"? You seriously underestimate the problem. In my area alone, the EPA estimates 1.1 MILLION pounds of fertilizers and pesticides are dumped on our lawns annually. And that is only the urban areas of a 8 county cummulative watershed in an extremely environmentally conscious section of the country. Multiply that a few hundred or a thousand times to address other urban areas across the country and the total rapidly escalates into the billions of pounds. That is not chump change to the pesticide manfacturers nor is it an insiginificant impact on our watersheds. .
Unfortunately, a wide segment of the population shares your uninformed view and the attitude of "what can it hurt if I use lawn chemicals, correctly or incorrectly - I'm just one person" prevails. Let's look at the statistics - and they're not even very current. In 1997, 4.6 BILLION pounds of pesticides (not including fertilizers) were consumed in the US. Of this, about 2/3's was utilized by the agricultural sector, the remainder by residential homeowners. That's 1.5 billion pounds attributed to Joe Blow and his neighbors and the data is six years old - I'd estimate the total is well above 2 billion by now. Hardly an insignificant amount. This IS a problem
pam - gardengal
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I don't care about a lawn actually, so mine is a variegated lawn! Some of the "weeds" have pretty flowers and others are good for herbal remedies. I mow when it gets too tall. I try to keep the "lawn" mowed to 3" only, no shorter. Besides, now I get free food for my tortoise!
--
gloria - only the iguanas know for sure



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In my area, homeowners are taxed $50/yr for "runoff" into Chesapeake Bay. All the stuff that gets washed off the lawn in a good rain goes right down the storm sewers and into the Bay. Yes, I fuss.
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wrote

tons
the
killers
Who do you fuss at? Your tax collector? All of the people in your neighborhood who use these "dangerous" chemicals, or just to the folks on this newsgroup?
In any event fussing won't do you any good. Your neighbors will just roll theirs eyes back into their heads and write you off as some sort of crazy. The folks on this newsgroup seem to be mixed at the idea that the use of organic materials on their lawns is the solution to all their varied lawn problems. And you will be paying a "run-off" tax long after the Chesapeake Bay dries up and has been turned into another housing development.
Hound Dog
Hound Dog
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tons
the
killers
underestimate
country
view
or
statistics -

pesticides
Wow! And they accuse Bush of "FUZZY MATH"
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correctly
2/3's
problem
You come out with an uninformed and innaccurate statement which I contest and then you accuse me of "fuzzy math"?? Okay, if you don't like the statistics of the EPA then you present to us something to support the accuracy of your view - if you can. Otherwise, it is evident to anyone with a wit of intellegence and concern about the situation that you don't have a clue.
pam - gardengal
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understand
is
extremely
not
well
with
a
That's correct "FUZZY MATH"
In your first paragraph you write the "EPA" ESTIMATES 1.1 Million pounds of fertilizers and pesticides are DUMPED on our lawns annually. Right so far? Then you instruct us to multiply that number by a few hundred or a THOUSAND and the result will be in the Billions of pounds. Actually 1.1 Million multiplied by your largest estimate of 1000 comes to just 1,100,000. Not Billions as you state, but only 1.1 Billion. Sure as heck sounds like "FUZZY MATH" to me, not to mention it being one hell of an exaggeration.
Your entire tirade is based only on YOUR opinions, estimates and unfounded statements. Not once do you give a site or a verifiable quote from any knowledgeable person to back up your claims. Then you have the unmitigated gall to write that I am uninformed. I'm certain you mean well, but like all other fanatics, you want everyone to blindly follow your rules.
Hound Dog
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Yes, and your anecodetal evidence about living around a farm was really convincing.
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