How to identify Dandelions in your lawn
Dandelions are weeds, unless you are a child. Many people have fond memories of playing with dandelion flowers in various ways as a child. This attitude changes when children grow up and strive to maintain a beautiful green lawn. The bright yellow flowers stick out like a sore thumb in a lawn. Hence the dandelion becomes a plant out of place or a WEED.
The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial and a member of the daisy family. It develops a strong tap root that may extend to 6 feet. The leaves are divided into tooth like lobes that point back toward the base. Dandelions flower in spring and fall. Most plants have several flower heads, each one carried on a long, bare, hollow stem that secretes a thick white juice when broken. Each flower head is a bright yellow.
Cultural and Mechanical Control
Most lawn weeds will take root wherever they can find the space and catch a few rays of sunshine. Dandelions stand little chance of establishing themselves in healthy lawns. That is why a good lawn care service that follows proper seeding, fertilizing, mowing, and watering will help stop dandelion problems before they have a chance to start.
Hand Weeding is an effective defense on small lawns where the number of dandelions is low. Pull them while they are young before they flower and seed. Yank the entire plant, including the root – any root pieces left underground will grow new plants. If new plants grow, pull them repeatedly to eventually starve and kill the weed.
When soil is moist, push a dandelion digger into the soil, angled downward toward the center of the plant, and loosen the soil around it. Use the tool to pry the weed upward while pulling it. Try not to break off the roots. Once the weed is out, promptly reseed the bare spot. Mowing frequently when dandelions are blooming to prevent the yellow blossoms from maturing into seeds helps reduce seed formation.
If the dandelions are too pervasive to control by mechanical means, proper chemical treatment provides effective control. The ideal time to control dandelions is in the fall. The second most effective time is bloom time in early spring. If only a few dandelions are present, spot treatment is the best method of control. Spot treatment involves spraying each individual weed. With heavy infestations of dandelions, blanket spraying the lawn with an herbicide containing 2,4-D, Dicamba, and MCPP is very effective.
Don’t mow the lawn 2 days before treatment to insure adequate leaf surface for herbicide absorption. After treatment allow another 2 or 3 days to pass before mowing. Apply these materials when no rain is forecast for 24 hours. Don’t irrigate the lawn within 24 hours of the application. As with all pesticide applications, read and follow all label directions, and use all recommended personal protective gear. When making liquid herbicide applications, keep children and pets off the lawn until the product has dried.
If you don’t have the time to spare in your lawn you could always call a lawn care professional to do the job for you. The result would most probably be better and the procedures and lawn fertilizers are accurately done. So dial 1-800-365-8873 now and set an appointment to check out your lawn.