Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Dandelions are the most widely recognized lawn weeds. The bright yellow flowers that turn into “puff” balls have been ruining lawns for many years. They have an uncanny ability to return each year even if you think you killed them the prior year. Since all plants want to continue to survive, the dandelion’s puff balls can travel near and far when Mother Nature blows their seeds of life to plant new generations for next year.
Dandelions thrive and bloom usually in late spring when moisture is abundant and the warming of the soil promotes their growth. The best thing to combat dandelions establishment is a Jonathan Green thick, healthy growing lawn, limiting their ability to thrive. Applying Jonathan Green grass seed to bare spots or over-seeding to thicken up an existing lawn is nature’s way of controlling these weeds.
The next step is following a Jonathan Green lawn maintenance program and best management practices. This includes proper fertilizing, watering, mowing and monitoring to control weeds if necessary. If your lawn is not getting enough fertilizer the grass will be under stress giving dandelions a better chance of moving in. Try Jonathan Green’s Natural Beauty Organic Fertilizer and provide your lawn with excellent turf nutrition. Natural Beauty is rich in Humates to help restore lawn soil life. Do not water too little or too much to promote poor grass growth and weed establishment; about one inch per week is sufficient for healthy growth in the absence of rainfall. Usually you do not need to irrigate in the spring when rain is usually plentiful. Be sure that your mower blade is sharp and that you are mowing high enough so that you are not scalping the grass. A height of 2-1/2” to 3-1/2” is ideal to crowd out lawn weeds. You also can take a Jonathan Green soil test, available at your local garden center, and be sure that your soil pH is in the proper range for your lawn to thrive. Your pH should be in the range of 6.0 to 6.8 for optimum growth, apply a calcium product if pH adjustment is required.
If your lawn requires dandelion weed controls there are a few choices. There is Jonathan Green’s Weed and Feed lawn fertilizer, which contains fertilizer with three-way action to provide superior weed control. Weed and Feed will feed your lawn for optimal growth while the weed killers eradicate broadleaf weeds such as dandelions and more. There is also Jonathan Green’s Lawn Weed Control, which does not contain any fertilizer for controlling broadleaf weeds. These products are selective and will not hurt your lawn grasses provided the label directions are followed. Remember, these products only control broadleaf weeds, not grassy weed like crabgrass! The dandelion plant may take 3 to 4 weeks to completely die, so have patience.
Many homeowners have poor results and are disappointed with their weed controls for the following reasons. Be sure to apply controls when the weeds are actively growing and many leaves are exposed. When applying any Jonathan Green weed control granules, do not mow the lawn for 2 days before OR 2 days after application. Apply your Jonathan Green weed control to grass that is moist from dew or perhaps a light sprinkling so they stick to the weed leaves. Do not water for 2 days after application or if there is rainfall scheduled for 2 days after application. Do not apply if the temperature is above 85 degrees or grass injury may occur. Do not seed for 4 weeks after application of any weed control products.
Jonathan Green organic methods of control include applying Jonathan Green Organic Weed Control plus Fertilizer, which contains corn gluten in early spring to prevent dandelion plants from establishing. Or, you can dig each plant out being sure to get the roots and all. For those of you that like dandelions, you can make dandelion wine or salad! Happy Spring!Back