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Old 05-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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dandelion control


I do my own lawn care and have been for the last 8 years. I can't seem to get the dandelions under control though. I spot treat them and fertilize using the Scott's annual program, but they are getting worse if anything. Should I go with a lawn care service company and hang up the towel?

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Old 05-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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In the states, you can buy a weed and feed product with killex or some such chemical. In Ontario all those products are banned. We are expected to use some sort of corn gluten thing that acts as a pre emergant. I'm a little skeptical however. They are supposed to work on all broadleaf weeds.

We all have now just resorted to tolerating the sea of yellow that does run its course. You can always learn to harvest them for fancy salads and wine..

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Old 05-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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In the states, you can buy a weed and feed product with killex or some such chemical. In Ontario all those products are banned. We are expected to use some sort of corn gluten thing that acts as a pre emergant. I'm a little skeptical however. They are supposed to work on all broadleaf weeds.

We all have now just resorted to tolerating the sea of yellow that does run its course. You can always learn to harvest them for fancy salads and wine..
What about using a weeder to manually pull them out? I spot treat them now.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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What about using a weeder to manually pull them out? I spot treat them now.

That would be the ideal solution, but when I say a sea I don't mean 10 or 20 or even 100's..

If I started today, assuming they didn't just run their course, I might be finished by first frost.
Of course the option of the afternoon drive to New York or Michigan and back home again would be much much quicker.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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2-4-D is the active ingredient that works best against dandelions and it is packaged in hose end applicator like WeedBGone and in granular form in Weed-N-Feed products. You can use the hose end product more like spot treatment if the weeds are isolated to one place in the yard. You can also buy it in a post-emergent herbicide only, without feed blend. It is still available in the states but its misuse by idjuts may force it off consumer shelves. Please use only at the rates specified on the labels to prevent runoff.

As mentioned in another thread today, Atrazine is one of the most used post and pre-emergent herbicides in the world, mostly in ag crops but also in lawns. You may not be able to get it all in some states or you may need a license in some others. It has been banned by the European Union because controversial studies suggest that concentrations from runoff into water supplies well bellow suggested government limits seem to be accompanied by increases in birth defects and cause menstruation problems in women. So be very careful with it and any herbicides for that matter. I remember living in California when Dow was dumping leftover Agent Orange repackaged as a forestry management product in N California and Oregon. Rare birth defects and plant mutations were showing up in dramatic and unexplainable proportions to the use of the stuff. A class action suit or two was settled, the products were no longer used, it not much more was heard about it all.

Feeding regularly and mowing tall is among your best strategies for weed control because turf is a numbers game. As a starting point, aim to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000sf per month alternating with pure nitrogen only (ammonium sulfate, etc.) every other month. Nitrogen is represented by the first number in that three digit string on the sack. A 50 pound sack marked 22-0-0 has 11 pounds (22 percent of 50) of available nitrogen or enough to feed 11,000 sf per month. Water the fertilizer off the blades and into the soil. Always water in general early enough in the day so the turf can dry out before sundown when you can control watering (hard in rainy climates I know). Moist turf overnight attracts diseases spores and insects. Keep an eye on at least soil Ph and balance with inexpensive lime, gypsum etc. depending on which direction you may have to swing it. Healthy turf blades will crowd out broadleaf weeds and deprive them of sunlight. De-thatching when required and annual aeration if budget will allow will help strengthen and thicken desirable turf grasses. Usually there are folks with powe aerators tripping over each other to service your lawn now and they will be back around the Fall.

You should also try to mow often during dandelion season to cut off the flower heads when they are still yellow and before they turn white and the seeds start blowing around. If you cannot, you might bag clippings during the worst of the season if your mower has the option.

I personally think if a DIYer is diligent and marks a calendar they can manage their own turf pretty well and perhaps better than a service since they see it every day. Retail lawn products, especially those part of a program and with pretty pictures of lawns on the packaging, are expensive though and it may almost be cheaper to hire a service to deal with chemical and food as needed. I honestly do not know what they charge these days. My front yard is Lincoln Park and the groundskeepers worry about it. You can, like them, buy generic packaged fertilizer you will need for annual feedings and store it in an airtight container cheaper than a single application of something like Scotts. Do not store so much your place goes up in a blast like West, Texas though.

Your other option is to buy cheaper products with less pretty packaging in just the sizes you need, as you need them. The available plant nutrients have to be on the label of any fertilizer and are represented by the three numbers you will see that form the NPK ratio---Nitrogen, Phosporous and Potassium. A sack of food at ACE for $10 bucks marked 22-10-10 has the same nutrients as the $26 sacks of Scotts marked the same. Send me $16 and I will print out a pretty picture of lawn you can stick on the more generic sack if it would help. Scotts does go out of its way to pelletize fertilizer nicely and some products do have timed release coatings a cheaper sack may not.

A broadcast, rather than a drop spreader is better for applying food and lawn chemicals. Just move at an even pace. I always encouraged clients to cut the application rate in half and then apply in each direction if they were not sure. It is fairly hard to fertilizer burn this way. Broadcast spreader are pretty worthless for spreading things like lime or gypsum so you will ned a drop spreader when applying those.

Good luck.

Last edited by user1007; 05-18-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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You should also try to mow often during dandelion season to cut off the flower heads when they are still yellow and before they turn white and the seeds start blowing around. If you cannot, you might bag clippings during the worst of the season if your mower has the option..

The big issue is, while "you" cut them out of the lawn, there's lawns and fields nearby that they aren't cut from, and the seeds just wind up spread all over anyway.
I don't even bother with dandelion control since the 30 acre field behind me has them, the field across the road has them too, and the seeds blow everywhere on the wind. It's fighting a losing battle.

I hear you can make dandelion tea from the roots...
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
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The big issue is, while "you" cut them out of the lawn, there's lawns and fields nearby that they aren't cut from, and the seeds just wind up spread all over anyway.
I don't even bother with dandelion control since the 30 acre field behind me has them, the field across the road has them too, and the seeds blow everywhere on the wind. It's fighting a losing battle.

I hear you can make dandelion tea from the roots...
Good point and under such circumstances you would have to lay down a pre-emergent/post emergent herbicide combo like Atrazine. And it will get expensive and be an endless process if you have 30 acres of untreated fields of the things.

At the end of the day, dandelions are kind of interesting looking even if weeds. They are rather special looking all yellow in a field or their seeds blowing on the wind. I guess you either decide to live with them or fight them to the end.

Dandelion tea is interesting and a popular herbal/medicinal tea. I think it is diuretic, is supposed to stimulate overall health and strengthen liver and bile production. It is rather bitter as I remember but roasting the roots helped with this. First ever girlfriend is a master herbalist and I should remember more about these things.

I have had dandelion wine that was absolutely delicious. And some that made me want to gag. Look over recipes carefully.

My grandmother used to make dandelion green salads long before such greens became fashionable and cost $20 tossed on a plate in an upscale restaurant. They were plentiful and at times, that side of the family lived mainly off the land or streams that ran through it. Family legend has it my grandfather stayed busy as a carpenter so maybe they lived this way by choice, at least in part. He was rather crusty and hard to get along with although mellowed out nicely by the time I got to know him.

I think dandelion greens would hold up to sauteing but do not know.

Obviously if you are going to drink dandelion tea/wine or eat the greens in salads, you do not want to be using herbicides!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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I do my own lawn care and have been for the last 8 years. I can't seem to get the dandelions under control though. I spot treat them and fertilize using the Scott's annual program, but they are getting worse if anything. Should I go with a lawn care service company and hang up the towel?
Using a company to do something you can do yourself is throwing money out the window. I do my own weed maintenance, and this year is bad, when it comes to weeds getting out of control.

Last year everything went dormant because of the drought, and this year due to all of the rain we have had, I am getting ready to do another Weed & Feed treatment, which will be the third one in three months.

I actually found a natural product that our local Ace Hardware sells, that works better than the Scott's or their brand name.

It is more of experimenting and finding the right product to do the job, that also means that you quite paying for something you can do yourself.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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Using a company to do something you can do yourself is throwing money out the window. I do my own weed maintenance, and this year is bad, when it comes to weeds getting out of control.

Last year everything went dormant because of the drought, and this year due to all of the rain we have had, I am getting ready to do another Weed & Feed treatment, which will be the third one in three months.

I actually found a natural product that our local Ace Hardware sells, that works better than the Scott's or their brand name.

It is more of experimenting and finding the right product to do the job, that also means that you quite paying for something you can do yourself.
What the name of the Ace product?
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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My cure has become "Weed Free Zone" by Fertilome.

One application after you have a few days in the 70's and they are gone till next spring.
It can be a little difficult to find. I get mine at a garden center. It is not carried by the big box stores.
Let the salesperson help you with application. Too much will kill everything. But, a correct application will kill everything except grasses.
The only undesirable that it won't kill is wild grass.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
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Looked on Amazon and they had a bunch of Fertilome brand options. There were granular weed-n-feed products (18-0-6 so 18 percent or 3.4 pounds of the 19 pound sack is available nitrogen so food wise that should feed 3,400sf at 1 pound per 1,000sf but they say to apply it to treat 7,600sf. Because of the herbicide I guess that is what I would do.)

They also had a freestanding granular lawn broadleaf herbicide only.

The liquid formula ingredients were similar to Ortho Weed-B-Gone (he says flying from memory) with 2-4-D the primary ingredient. I have not bought any in so long I cannot comment on price.

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Old 05-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #12
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What the name of the Ace product?
It is actually a special buy that the ownership of our local Ace Hardware have bought. I want to say it is Johnson fertilizer. Ace Hardware's brand name is actually made by PBI Gordon, who make the same stuff for golf courses, and professional use.

I have found as I stated before, that Ace hardware's brand is better than the junk that Scott's has been producing for the past ten or so years. For them, it is all about marketing that sells their products. Why do you think so much of it is sold, because you have to use twice as much of their stuff, to do the same job as other brands like the private label for Ace.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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I apply 2-4-D with a hand sprayer or a tow-behind sprayer in the spring as soon as possible. It did a good job last year and I had 4 neighbors cooperate. Some others were already doing a good job fighting broadleafs.

The fall was too stressful to do anything. This spring, there are very few weeds and we may only do some spot spraying.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:05 AM   #14
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Trugreen. Is who i use. Once the guy sprays the lawn. There done.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:30 AM   #15
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Trugreen. Is who i use. Once the guy sprays the lawn. There done.
How much do you pay

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