My lawn is infested with dandelions. Last summer I used this removal tool,
hoping that would remove the roots and get rid of them for good. Now this
spring my lawn is covered in dandelions again!
Any ideas on what I can do. I live in a subdivsion close to city water so
I'm looking for a safe way to kill them without using crazy pesticides.
Any ideas or tips would be appriciated.
As far as "crazy" pesticides, our lazy cat is fairly good at taking out
the chipmunks and voles. I don't know about "crazy" herbicides. I do
spot-applications of Bonide Broadleaf weed killer. It takes a few
years, but I probably had fewer than a dozen dandelions on an acre this
year. The herbicide also works well on ground ivy, ajuga and a number
of other weeds. As long as you don't broadcast it, there is no damage
On Sun, 15 May 2005 13:53:36 +0000, Rob Sullivan wrote:
Good day Rob. The safest way to remove them in mechanical. The best way to
do it is to remove them in the early spring or early fall. After you
remove the dandelion, take a handful of grass seed and spread it in the
empty area left from the weed. Refrain from mowing for a few weeks if you
can so the seed can sprout.
The best way to keep the weeds out of the lawn is to have a higher mowing
hight, 2 1/2 to 3 inches is best and a good fertilizer program.
Fertilizing in the mid spring and again in the early fall and you should
have nice looking turf.
As you've found out, trying to get rid of them by digging them out
isn't very effective, not to mention a pain to do. They can have
roots a couple of feet deep and unless you get most of it, they come
back. I'd go with spot treatment with a broadleaf weed killer, like
weed b gone. Use a small tank sprayer which will allow you to deliver
it right to the target, meaning you will use very little herbicide.
Once you get rid of them, in a thick healthy lawn, you should only have
a small amount in the future, which you can deal with the same way.
I second the spot treatment with "weed d gone". This stuff is very
reasonably safe. The extreme tree huggers here will tell you that you
can have a green weed free yard using only "natural" herbicides and
mechanical removal but it just ain't so. No where in nature will you
find what you want to achieve - i.e. a mono crop of a single (or at
least a few) desirable grass varieties. This just does not occur in
nature and you will not get this result with so called "natural"
control, unless you are prepared to expend an extreme amount of effort
and walk your yard every day or two looking for and pulling undesirable
species. You can get this result with a reasonable amount of physical
labor and judicious use of man made herbicides. Spot treatment with an
over the counter herbicide like "weed b gone" applied as per the label
with a little common sense (i.e. washing up after applying it and
waiting the proscribed time before letting anyone on the lawn) will harm
neither you nor the environment.
An even more benign herbicide is a glyphosate like Roundup (or it's
clones). Glyphosate is not some mysterious complicated chemical. It is
about as toxic as table salt (which indeed will kill you if you drink
enough salt water). It in fact kills plants in the same manner as
pouring salt on them would. The glyphosate is absorbed by the green
leafy part of the plant and is then transported to the root system.
There it reverses the osmotic flow that normally carries water and
nutrients into the root systems. The presence of ions that the
glyphosate disassociates into causes this osmotic flow to run backwards
which kills the plant mainly through the loss of water. Pouring salt on
the plant would do exactly the same thing except the salt would persist
in the soil and kill anything else that tried to grow there later
whereas the glyphosate has no ground activity. Of course, this
herbicide is a lot less selective and will kill any green actively
growing plant that gets a sufficient dose. If you are very careful and
get a fine spray right down on the weed and are careful not to get it on
your grass you can spot treat dandelions without taking out your grass
(or at least an acceptably small bit of it). I do this sometimes when
I've got just a few handfull of weeds sprouting and I don't need to
treat a whole area. It does take a little care and practice (and a
windless day) so you wouldn't want to try to treat a couple of dozen
weeds this way. This is what you do once you've gotten the bulk of your
problems under control with a broadleaf herbicide like "weed b gone".
BTW, if you live in a warm climate and have a lawn of a warm season
grass like Bermuda, you can spray weeds fairly indiscriminatly while and
only while the lawn is dormate, say in mid to late February. I used to
live further south and had a Bermuda lawn and this was one of the
benefits. Roundup only works on green, active plant. As long as the
lawn is soundly dormant the Roundup won't touch it. Of course you had
to be careful and not wait too late when things were starting to wake up.
It's not so much tree huggers as it is people who look for information from
more than product labels, or the first 2 pages of the newspaper, John. An
interesting example (which proves nothing, and disproves nothing): A recent
story on NPR talked about prostate cancer, and how researchers had modified
the theory that Japanese men in Japan (as opposed to here) had an extremely
low rate of the disease. Initial assumption were that diet or genetics were
the reason. But, they ruled out genetics by finding Japanese men who'd spent
their lives here, and discovering that their cancer rate was pretty much
identical to the rest of the American male population. The researcher who
was interviewed cautioned against any conclusions because he said they had
not yet tabulating results based on other factors - which of the men ate
(here) the way they would if they lived in Japan. He went on to say that if,
by some magic, they could rule out diet as a significant factor, it would be
a mixed blessing because they would be left with the unknowable: What kinds
of crap was the survey population exposed to simply by living here.
Here (Rochester NY), we hear the same thing when scientists talk about
whatever Kodak spews out of its chimneys. If you lived right next door to a
manufacturer who was known to be releasing a specific chemical, and you knew
that chemical was, beyond a shadow of a doubt to be toxic, it would be easy
to say that this was the chemical making neighbors sick. But, that's rarely
the situation. Now, it's next to impossible to isolate any single chemical
as the cause of a cancer cluster because people are exposed to so many
things, most of which are difficult to pin down.
So, why add to the mix? To support a crop that is unrealistic, such as
grass, and force it to grow in ways it's not designed to?
I swear - I'll look further into the term and actually use it correctly in a
sentence at the next opportunity. For better or worse, I was unable to
schedule a statistics class in college due to scheduling conflicts with a
course I needed for my major.
"Slight correction to my previous post, written before 2nd up of
Researchers modified their theory about WHY, not WHETHER Japanese men
Japan had lower rates of prostate cancer. "
Maybe they'll wind up modifying both. Just a couple of weeks ago, the
CDC came out with a big revelation. After telling everyone for the
last couple of decades that being even a little over ideal body weight
was unhealthy, they now say those that are only modestly over the
ideal BMI actually live LONGER! And where just last year they were
estimating 400K people in the US die prematurely from obesity, now the
CDC says it's only like 25K. Now this is data which should be very
easy to obtain and get right, and yet it was all wrong. Then they
expect us to believe what they say when they try to extract second or
third order data, like the effects of second hand smoke! What a joke!
And finally, I don't know what any of this has to do with chemicals,
nor is any of it new. It's been well known that most disease rates
differ among populations living in different countries. And when they
immigrate, many of the disease rates start shifting to come more into
line with those experienced in the new country. That says nothing
about it being do to chemicals. It could very well be driven by the
compostion of the diet itself or other factors. Stomach cancer is a
classic. Japan has a high incidence of this disease, while Japanes
that immigrate here have a lower rate. Doesn't mean chemicals had
anything to do with it though.
Maybe if you're a little overweight, it's because you have someone you enjoy
eating with regularly, and if you're happy, you live longer. Or something.
Happiness is subjective, and difficult to measure. Weight vs years on the
other hand - easy to measure, but hard to interpret.
Some years ago, Nova did a show about an area in China where a kim chee-sort
of pickled dish was very popular. When they made the stuff in big barrels,
this foam formed as the product aged, and the foam was considered a
delicacy, like a condiment. Unfortunately, it contained an outrageous amount
of nitrates (or nitrites - don't recall which), which they compared with
what we'd get if we ate bacon, hot dogs and ham 6 times a day for a few
years. The result was that the rate of esophagus cancer was beyond anything
these Western doctors had ever seen. The residents were given a heads-up
about the foam, stopped eating it, and the cancer rate dropped to a more
(Just mentioned that as a point of interest)
You're right about stomach cancer - it could easily have to do with the
wrong combination of natural ingredients, like the pickled thing in China.
Or, it could be that lately, the country is known for expecting people to
work many more hours than we (usually) do. Maybe the result is
stress-related stomach problems, which we know can lead to ulcers, and
stomach cancer, if they go too far.
The problem here is that we're exposed to so many chemicals all at once that
it makes tracking their effects difficult. Example: Seedless grapes require
an immense amount of chemical assistance to get them from farm to grocery
store unblemished. Worse is the fact that a lot of grapes come from South
America, where we don't have any control over the spraying procedures. The
USDA is unable to spot check more than the occasional shipment for excess
residue. Domestic grapes are better, but still, the sprays are designed to
stick. Whattya gonna do? Wash each grape with a little sponge? So, we just
They're a favorite snack for little kids, along with strawberries and
carrots, which are also heavily treated. Good luck dealing with that. And,
one of the worst is Burbank (?) potatoes, widely grown here because they're
the only kind McDonald's will buy. The treatment they receive is nightmarish
because they have to be blemish-free, or McDonald's won't take them. Read a
great book called "The Botany of Desire" - you might enjoy it because it's
not really about chemicals. Anyway, in one section, the author visits one of
the bigger farms in Idaho whose existence depends on selling to McDonald's.
When the farmer's wife needs spuds to serve the family, she goes down the
road to an organic farm to buy them. They're also blemish free, but for
different (and obvious) reasons. She finds it spooky that at her own farm,
the ground is pretty much barren of life except for the potatoes, and it's
not weed killer that's causing the condition. It's the fact that the various
things they spray and fumigate with kill pretty much everything else.
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The higher you cut the grass the fewer grass plants you will have per square
foot. Long term this may not help to reduce weeds as a thicker lawn will do
a better job of preventing infestation.
Also the potassium in fertilizer will overstimulate the production of
dandelions. My rule of thumb is that you shouldn't fertilize if you're not
gonna' spray the weeds.
I would suggest that you spot-spray the pesky little guys with a premixed
sol'n. Don't use weed'n'feed as it ends up everywhere.
On Mon, 16 May 2005 20:05:24 -0400, Peter H wrote:
This statement maybe true...if one was to mow a 12 inches 80P
If a person was to keep the grass length to 2 to 4 inches, mowed
regularly (weekly) and fertilize twice a year, many of the more common
lawn issues will be gone. This by no means implies that the lawn will be a
weed free haven but it's a situation that can be managed with acceptable
results (for most people).
Other issues to be aware of is the fact that grass tends to do better if
the soil is a bit acidic. Grass tends to do best with a ph around 6.5 to
7.0 . The more the ph ranges above 7, more broadleaf plants will
survive and the turf tends to be thinner. Dandylions _love high ph soil
If ones finds that the weeds have overtaken the lawn more than their
willing to accept, then one can de-thatch the lawn and re-seed. This is
one way to reduce the weed infestations that one may experience.
The explanation given by our local cooperative extension is logical: If you
hack the average lawn down to putting green level, you're removing a
significant amount of leaf area, without which the grass cannot
photosynthesize enough. Sort of like hacking 75% of the leaves off your
dogwood every 10 days.
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