On Fri, 07 May 2004 13:35:55 -0500, Dan Hartung
I agree with what Dan said.
After fighting a losing battle with dandelions for nearly a decade I
had good results. Some of my dandelions had roots the size of
I bought a 2 gallon container of full strength RoundUp weed killer
from a farm supplies place. It was around $80 (8 years back and I
still have some left) and would have cost an equivalent of a few
hundred dollars had I bought an equivalent amount from the garden
I then waited for a rain forcast to mow the lawn beforehand. The TV
five day weather forecast is quite reliable. My reasoning is cut
grass would need lots of water to regrow and the RoundUp wouldn't dry
up as fast and therefore unavailable to the roots. A rain soaked lawn
would allow the dandelion roots and injured leaves to soak in the weed
killer for at least an hour or so. The application was from one of
those garden hose spray bottle attachments that automatically metered
the dilution. I can't remember but I think I did squirt a stronger
solution of RoundUp onto the roots of the larger dandelions before
mowing the lawn to give them a double whammy. It would have been hard
to find them in a fresh mown field.
Anyway after three such treatments over the summer the dandelions did
disappear. There were reinfestations and hardy ones that regrew but I
followed up promptly with squirt bottle RoundUp applications on the
roots, plucking the weed by hand to cause injury. This squirt
treatment is something I do whenever Isee a fresh dandelion nowadays
although this treatment is rarely required as few dandelions appear.
I use a 2 litre coke bottle capped with a ketchup screw lock cap
dispenser for a squirt bottle. It beats using a hand spray boittle as
the wrist hurts by the time I get through two litres and I run through
5 bottles for spot applications.
I think my lawn is all crabgrass now. Maybe not, but the original
Kentucky grass type sodded lawn had been totally replaced by a broader
leafed species that is hardy and just browns without dying in a
drought. It recovers almost miraculously as soon as it rains and I
practically have to mow it within the next few days of growth. My
house abuts a school and public playground and this grass looks
identical to theirs. I am quite happy with this "crabgrass" as it is
very low maintenance. I hardly need to water it, and it seem to manage
to choke out most of the dandelions. In any case it will be a losing
battle to resod as the school field grass would quickly reinvade my
I am not sure what you are saying here. If you spray with Roundup rather
than Weed-B-Gone, you risk killing the surrounding grass. And you should
not mow after spraying Roundup, because the stuff soaks in through the
leaves, and if you cut off the tops of the dandelion leaves it may still
die but it is now more likely to survive.
It doesn't take much practice to figure out the right dilution for the
squirt bottle without killing the surrounding grass too. My rule of
thumb is 2 to 3 tablespoons to a 2 litre Coke bottle. The hose
dispenser mix is a lot more dilute.
I spray the Roundup_ after _mowing the lawn so that the Roundup will
be taken up by the dandelion roots and leaf wounds. It worked. I
suppose the cut grass absorbed the Roundup too but the recent rain
plus the Roundup spray mix, and I was stingy with that expensive
chemical, seemed to have kept the lawn green and healthy. The
dilution must have been suitable.
Roundup is supposed to kill only broadleaf plants. My lawn was also
rid of thistles, stinkweed and assorted unamed broadleaves now that
the subject has come up. Of course I had to be careful not to let the
spary touch my broadleaf garden plants. One side of a small peach
tree died when, because the hose was not long enough, I did some
distance spraying and the spray drift hit that side.
I'll have to backdown on the Chemical ID of the weedkiller I used.
The plain black lettering-on-white paper label, with the chemical name
but no trade name, had fallen off years ago. The farm supplies clerk
who sold the stuff called it Roundup and it certainly smelled the same
as the Roundup I bought from the garden store. It had the same dark
tea color and its slightly "oily" viscosity. The clerk described it
as a broadleaf weedkiller and it did work that way.
The garden variety Roundup did kill indiscrimately if applied with
inproper dilution. It barely worked if the recommended dilution was
made. At the cost of something like $40 a quart can for the garden
variety Roundup you bet I applied the stuff very sparingly. I am
guessing at the explanation - the possibility would be that the spot
Roundup application leached away from the application spot into the
surrounding area without Roundup thus diluting it further and reducing
its efficacy. Further, spot application meant I missed as many weeds
as I had killed and the survivors repopulated the lawn. With the farm
Roundup I sprayed the whole lawn after a rainshower for the reasons
given in my original post. The effort worked and that's all I ever
wanted. I have a >8000 sq ft lawn about twice the size of the
neighbors. Its the only relatively dandelion free lawn in the
That's a pretty good description (brown, oily, smells, farm guy called
it "broadleaf weedkiller") of 2,4-d. Round-Up is clear and I don't
recall it having much of an odor.
Also I think you said you killed a tree or some bushes with overspray.
That would be a broadleaf herbicide like 2,4-d, tryclopyr, or trimec.
Maybe 20 years ago it was -- the yard had a fair coverage
of dandelions; the chemicals I tried didn't kill them,
not at the strength I was using it at, and I didn't
want to use anything stronger.
So I got one of those probe-things for dandelions,
sat down in the yard, and started to work -- maybe
two hours a day, for a week or two. Got 'em all.
Kept a watch out -- every day I went out to catch
any new ones.
(That was in the summer (of course))
Anyway, the next summer, still had them, but
no where's as many, and got them too, by hand.
Fewer yet the third summer.
Since then, very, very few.
And the adjoining yard in the back (with
a sheer-wall between us, their yard is 4 or
so feet lowere than ours), they had lots
of dandelions earlier this summer, and they
bloomed and everything, but strangely no problem
came from it.
Anyway, that's *my* experience.
My new puppy loves to eat them. Good liver tonic, LOL.
Digging it out one by one is best. I treat them as my enemy no. 1.
I don't give them a chance to take hold of my yard.
Wish neighbors do the same. I have one neighbor whose yard is sea of
I've used ortho weed b gone and it has always worked well. I just put it in
a miracle grow sprayer, attach the hose and go for it. Always seems to
work, not to mention all the other weeds it gets as well.
Pick a sunny day with no rain the forecast. Use Weed-B-Gone or
Spectricide per directions on the bottle. Dandelions that are
well-established may require a second spraying 2-3 weeks later. Make
sure you wet all the leaves with the product. A garden sprayer is
easier on the back than a hand-held sprayer bottle, especially if you
have a lot of dandelions to treat. Do not mow 2 days prior or
following the treatment.
While the weather's still cool, pick the leaves and make them about 20-50%
of the total volume of a nice salad. They're slightly bitter in cool
weather, and worse in hot weather. Try with a sweet dressing like raspberry
vinaigrette, or one with balsamic vinegar in it.
If you have an ENORMOUS dandelion problem, this won't solve it unless you
eat an ENORMOUS amount of salad. But, it feels like great revenge anyway. Of
course, this assumes you haven't applied anything but fertilizer on your
lawn in the past year or two.
If you have only a few dandelions, hand-weed them, being sure to get the
long, carrot-shaped root. Loosen the soil and reseed.
I did mine by hand. Every day for a week, I picked all the ones that
were blooming, plus any other I happenned to see while doing that or
edging the lawn. I hardly ever see one in bloom anymore unless up
pops up out of a clump of cloves (I'm working on the cloves now).
I suggest a two part approach.
1. Get and keep the lawn healthy.
2. Kill off the remaining weeds.
This may sound like a good weed and feed product, but it is not.
The best time to apply fertilizer is never the same time as the best
time to apply a weed control.
Getting and keeping a lawn healthy is not just fertilizing it. It means
cutting it the correct height for the local conditions and weather. Most
people cut the grass too short. This gives the advantage to the weeds.
Fertilizing should be based on the need which can be established by a
soil test. The do all package of fertilizer that is sold by the chemical
companies is designed to sell more product, not make your lawn the best.
Cut feed and water to benefit the long term health of the grass.
As for eliminating the remaining (or at least controlling the remaining)
weeds, I suggest using a hand held spray and only hitting the weeds, not the
whole lawn. I have seen some lawns that might need an over all approach
once or twice, but after that it is easier, cheaper and more responsible to
just treat the weeds.
I suggest to forget all the chemicals and Scots weed and feed stuff. Very
poor method and generaly not good for the grass.
There is a tool available at most hardware stores, Home depot, walmart,etc
that makes the job of removing weeds along with roots very easy - and this
is the MOST effective way to control them.
The tool is called "Weed Popper" and is easy to use and does a good job.
There is a similar tool called "Weed Hound" that I first bought and it
didn't work at all and I took it back to Walmart.
I've actually had very good luck with the weed hound
I pulled about three or four bushels out of a friend's yard with one a
few weeks ago, and have pretty much eliminated dandelions from my own,
The one thing, though, is that the plunger tends to get stuck, so i just
carry around a $3 rubber mallet to whack it -- much easier on the hands,
and the difference between a good and painful experience.
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