On 16 Feb 2004 05:58:34 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (jackie) opined:
Weeds don't like being pulled out. When you pull the out, they die! It's
called "weeding." It's a verb and part of the other verb, "to garden."
However, if you want to step over the line, Finale is a weed killer which is the
safer of the dangerous ones. I've never used it, but read the label beginning
to end. Also, they sell a tool called the Weed Popper. It's a great tool. The
Weed Hound is not AS good, but it works well for you listed weeds provided the
soil is not hardpan dry.
Don't get lulled into a false sense of security by words like
'organic' or 'natural' all "organic" means is it's carbon based, and
arsenic and nicotine are "natural" substances, doesn't make them any
Safest way to kill dandelions is the dandelion digger, good exercise,
you can work at it getting a few at a time, cutting them out with the
digger deeply enough, and they're gone. mow before they bloom in the
spring to give you more time, but they will counter by blooming as
close to the ground as possible, but the first mowing will give you a
few more days. But if you dig them, then scratch up the surface of
the soil where the broad leafed weeds had been and scatter a bit of
lawn grass seed there, water it in, and scatter a little dry grass or
straw lightly over it.. and water all of them keeping them moist and
when the grass fills in, you won't get so many dandelions as they
can't grow where there's enough grass to choke them out.
So, keep the lawn well seeded, and that won't give the dandelions a
place to grow. If you have problem areas, like shade, get grass seed
blended for it. And in areas where grass won't grow, then get
perennials which will grow there. Hostas, ferns .. there are even
ferns for dry shade. You just got to look around. Try to get out of
the loop of feeding a lawn with high nitrogen fertilizer to make it
grow lush.. because then you have to up the water or it'll burn out,
and then you'll have to pay someone to mow twice as often. It's not
good for the lawn, the environment as over fertilizing eventually ends
up in the water table or in rivers and ponds and makes for algae
blooms. It's cheaper not to fertilize and usually it's not needed,
just water deeply when you wanter, and then you can water less often,
and mow less often. If you NEED to fertilize, then fertilize for
If you just can't stand the weeds, and you're not willing to hand
weed, then put some round up in a squirt bottle and carefully spray
each weed., then after the weed dies, rake up the soil, and reseed the
spots that die. Roundup kills everything, including lawn, so just be
careful and precise.
Of course you can dig it all out and plant vegetables, herbs, small
fruit, and flowers :-D That's what I did .. even the driveway! LOL I
didn't have room to grow even a fraction of what I wanted to grow, so
I just said grass is evil and out it came. Of course, then I had more
weeds, but there are new things like the fabric weed barriers, and you
can lay down several layers of newsprint you then wet and mulch over
that'll keep new weeds down. :-D
Safe magic bullet herbicides are non-existant. The safest way is to pull
them up. Alternatively, you could use a hoe. The hoe I like to use is
called a Coleman hoe or Collinear hoe. It's a very thin blade on a very
long handle. Instead of leaning over and chopping weeds, you stand
upright and sweep with the hoe, holding it like a broom, with your
thumbs pointing away from the blade. It takes a couple of tries to get
used to it, but it really saves your back.
Hoes work best when the weeds are very small (less than 1" high). This
means you have to keep at it. Fortunately, if you attack the weeds when
they're small, the job is much easier, so it takes little time. That
little time, applied often, works wonders. In fact, you should schedule
a couple of days a week to hoe your garden whether or not you see any
weeds. Frequently when you do that, you will see small white threads in
the soil you disturb. Those are weeds that haven't emerged yet, and you
just killed them.
There's a rule of thumb that seeds will only germinate if they are
buried less than seven times their maximum dimension. Most weed seeds
are fairly small, so if you don't disturb more than the top inch of soil
with your hoe, you won't bring up new weed seeds, and eventually the
weeds will stop coming up.
Dandelions are another matter. You don't usually see them until they are
fairly mature, at which time they have a long tap root. Your best bet is
to find a tool that pulls them up. That won't kill them since you rarely
get the whole root, but if you are persistent, you can tire them out. At
the very least, you should use the tool whenever you see a flower. As
soon as you see a dandelion flower, you have maybe 3-5 days before you
have dandelion seeds. If they get to that point, you have to start all
Personally, I like dandelions. They're mostly green and they
occasionally add a bit of nice color to a lawn. Ditto clover.
aside from pulling them out as others have mentioned, I've heard that
cutting your grass often will encourage a deep and dense root structure
that helps crowd out dandelions and broadleaf weeds. I pull, but don't mow
often, because i don't like to run the gasoline powered lawm mower. Maybe
if break down and get a push reel mower this spring ....
Actually some seeds do need light to germinate. However, the definition
of "weed" is so broad as to be meaningless. Accordingly, you can't
generalize and say that weed seeds need light or weed seeds will
germinate without light. It depends on the seed. And what you call a
weed. After all, tomatoes can be weeds if they're growing in your
However, there are far fewer plants that will thrive after germination
without light. Some plants will tolerate lack of light for a limited
time while they work their way through a thick cover (e.g. last years
plant debris, a thick lawn or soil overburden, etc.), but eventually
they need light.
It is difficult to withhold light from selected plants. This form of
herbicide can be called broad-spectrum.
Many weed seeds actually need light to germinate. In other words, when people
scalp their lawn, they expose the weed seeds to the light, thus, they germinate
at a much higher rate than if you don't scalp. My neighbor just scalped his
lawn, and the neighbors lawn because he bought a riding mower. His yard is
maybe (including the house on it) 1/4 acre. It's on a slope. Maybe his mower
will smash him into the fence. Sorry, that wasn't nice...so be it.
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