pepper4
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How to Kill Dandelions?

Our yard looks great with the exception of a few dandilions here and there. Is there anything out there to spray on them that will kill them and not the grass? Thanks in advanve.
Bambi

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Kisal
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If there only a few, I would just dig them out by hand. I used to use an old table knife and found it quite effective, although there are hand tools made expressly for that purpose. I used to enjoy it and find it nice "alone" time, but I realize that I might be the only person in the world who enjoys weeding. :lol:
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tomf
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If you only have a few you can use a weed pulling tool. You need to pull the roots. A close mowing helps keep them down. The chemical method is to use a broad leaf killer such as Weed Be Gone, or a weed and feed. I try to use chemicals very sparingly and selectively as I do not think they are good for the environment and local wild life.

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hendi_alex
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Up until about three years ago, I never had a dandelion in the yard. Three years ago with that first clump of plants, I thought, . And the childhood memories! By last year I was thinking [these things are crazy] as there were over 300 of the plants growing over much of the yard. At that time I started using a standard large shovel to dig beside and underneath the dandelion, lift without taking out the dirt, and then pull the plant getting as much root as possible. This year the dandelions were down to perhaps 100 plants. I discovered that my long, narrow tappered trowel works wonders, in our sandy soil.

If my soil was clay, it would have to be the broad leaf herbicide route, as digging would be almost impossible unless the plants were caught at the earliest stage of moving into the yard.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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rainbowgardener
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Personally I think the lawn is gorgeous when it is full of purple violets and yellow dandelions. If you mow frequently and kind of short (which I do to keep the lawn weeds blended in with the grass), you cut the dandelion flowers off before they have a chance to go to seed, so they don't multiply out of control. We always have a few dandelions in our lawn, but we never have a whole yard of them.

Make dandelion wine! Put the dandelions in your salad! Take beautiful pictures of them... enjoy what nature gives you.
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tomf
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rainbowgardener wrote:Personally I think the lawn is gorgeous when it is full of purple violets and yellow dandelions. If you mow frequently and kind of short (which I do to keep the lawn weeds blended in with the grass), you cut the dandelion flowers off before they have a chance to go to seed, so they don't multiply out of control. We always have a few dandelions in our lawn, but we never have a whole yard of them.

Make dandelion wine! Put the dandelions in your salad! Take beautiful pictures of them... enjoy what nature gives you.
Good point, this is my main form of control as I do not have time to dig them all out. I mow short some times but in the summer I let the lawn be a little longer so it holds water better. Weeds stay green also. :wink:

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hendi_alex
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My yard is fairly naturalized though I did sprig centipede over most of the open space. But that was as far as it went. I don't fertilize or treat with any kind of chemicals, except in the ongoing battle with fire ants. The centipede is not a thick carpet, but has much open space that allows lots of spring blooming plants to take hold. What most people would consider unkempt, I consider special. We usually delay our first mowing until sometime in May after the covering of May wildflowers of mostly purples, yellows, and pinks have finished their bloom. After the first cutting, I only mow the entire yard about two or three times per season, only maintaining the front yard and main walking areas more regularly. So for us the dandelions just don't work out. When allowed to bloom freely, they will completely dominate the yard displacing most all of the flowers that we enjoy. They also become a difficult item in the annual and perennial beds. So I decided that they had to go. Now we are down to perhaps no more than a few dozen plants, and I'll continue to dig them every time one comes to my attention.

My nearest neighbor, about 1/4 mile away, appears to have dandelion as the dominant plant in the yard. In another week or two, the yard will be completely yellow. There is also that relentless march of the plants on its way up the hill to our yard. Both sides of the road are getting pretty well established. Thankfully, the acreage around our house is all wooded, and acts as a barrier to the dandelions and most other invasive plants.
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rainbowgardener
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What is centipede, when it isn't a many legged arthropod?
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Kisal
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rainbowgardener wrote:What is centipede, when it isn't a many legged arthropod?
It's a kind of grass. It's used in lawns.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Gary350
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I buy cattle SALT at the farm supply store for $3.95 per 50 lb. bag. I save an empty 15 oz can from the kitchen, corn, beans, tomato sauce it makes no difference any can will work.

I pour about 3/4 of a can of salt on each plant. Every morning when the dew is on the grass the plant will get a drink of salt water. Every time it rains the plant will get a drink of salt water. The plant will be dead within 2 weeks. It makes a dead spot in the yard about 4" diameter that goes away in about a month. Very little work involved and no poison or cancer causing crap either.
Last edited by Gary350 on Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rainbowgardener
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oh jeez, Gary. I was with you on mowing in the rain....

You bet the dandelion will be killed that way and so will the soil, in that spot and and for a ways around as the salt spreads out by osmosis. For (nearly) ever.

Any one remember "cartago delendum est" ? Probably not the kind of thing they teach in school any more... Carthage is destroyed. The Romans conquered Carthage, razed it, and salted the soil so that nothing would grow there for hundreds of years.

Seems like over-kill for a few dandelions. Make dandelion wine, eat them in your salad, take beautiful pictures. Learn to love what nature gives you!
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hendi_alex
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While the effects of salt are pretty long lasting in an arid region, I doubt that the effect is very permanent at all in areas that get copious amounts of rain. Still, putting that much salt out is not a method I would use, even the use of a broadleaf herbicide would likely have far less impact on the environment. IMO the first round of attack should be to dig. A second low tech method would be to simply place a round bottom tray or other flat object over the dandelion, depriving the plant of light. (Maybe that is an idea for a lawn care product. Manufacture different sized green discs to cover plants and deprive them of light, while matching the color of the lawn) If there are too many of the plants for that approach, then perhaps consider a herbicide.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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oki
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The lazy way is to just lop off any flowers you see before they can become seed puffs. I did that one year (just went out there with a badminton racket and started swinging...) and had significantly less dandelions the next.

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oki wrote:The lazy way is to just lop off any flowers you see before they can become seed puffs. I did that one year (just went out there with a badminton racket and started swinging...) and had significantly less dandelions the next.
Without the risk of looking like a crazy neighbor, I suggest the weed hound: https://www.amazon.com/Hound-Dog-Products-HDP1-6-Weed/dp/B0000DI835.

Make sure you're not getting the latest "upgrade" version in Home Depot, which is actually a more expensive and less effective downgrade.

ps. cool, a fellow Eastside Washingtonian here.

wingdesigner
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I guess I'll be prowling garage sales for a used racquet now. Whacking away with that will only reinforce the rep I already have... 8)

Hand digging didn't work for me. Since the neighbours all have "perfect" lawns, and since we have a zealous City Inspector, I guess I'd better get the chem solution. Question: how wide a margin should I leave between application zone and edge of any ornamental plantings?
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Wing

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GO Huskies (UCONN, that is)

But the other Husky fan is onto my favorite solution; we have two Weed Hounds. His and Hers models... :wink:

HG
Scott Reil

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Gary350
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Re: How to Kill Dandelions?

I salted my Tennessee Dandelions for 35 years. My yard looked nice like some professional lawn service was doing the job. It only takes about 5 rains to wash the salt away that is why the tiny 4" dead spots is gone in 30 days.

I found another way to kill Dandelions and other weeds. This is more WORK but it works great. Buy 5 hot water heater elements at the hardware store. The Heating elements are 240 volts AC but we are going to attach a short cord to them so they can be plugged into 120 volts AC so they only heat up to about 600 degrees F. Save 5 empty kitchen cans from corn or beans, etc and cut off both ends so you have a round metal tube. Push a metal tube down over a Dandelions just far enough that it can be filled with water and not leak out. Next push 1 of the heating elements into the ground inside the can. Push the heating element all the way down. The water prevents the heating element from over heating and burning up when it gets hot. Plug in heating element #1. While it heats up go to another Dandelions with a heating element and can. By the time you finish with heating element #5, Dandelions #1 has COOKED to death. The water around the tap root will boil and the plant will be dead. LOL. Pull up the heating element and move it to another Dandelions. One by one move the heating elements to another Dandelions. You can cook Dandelions to death at a rate of about 1 per minute using 5 heating elements. This only makes a tiny 2" dead spot in the yard that is gone in 2 weeks.

NOTE, make sure the cans have water other wise your heating elements will over heat and burn up.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How to Kill Dandelions?

Sounds like way more work than just digging your dandelions out and no more effective. If you dig up the dandelion by the root (not hard to do after a rain, when the soil is moist), it is gone. And this method requires electricity (no electric outlets anywhere near my lawn) and seems to have some possibility of electrocuting yourself, mixing electricity and water. You never do anything the simple way, do you Gary? :roll:
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