Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dandelions Weeds: Friends or Foes?

Could weeds be a good thing? Most of the 'none grass plants' in my lawn I immediately condemn as an enemy of the yard. Truth be told, I should probably know what I am killing in my yard. At the very least, to know how to kill the weed faster. Some weeds, like dandelions, are edible and have medicinal purposes. If you see something I missed, leave a comment.

Word of Warning: Before eating/using do your research. If you apply chemicals to the yard, don't eat them.

Medicinally dandelions used as blood purifier, relieving constipation, upset stomach, skin inflammatory, joint pain, treat fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, diarrhea, eczema, kidney disease and liver dysfunction, such as hepatitis and jaundice ( "Dandelions are a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The leaves are often used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots can be found in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make certain dandelion wines" -

Removing dandelions can be tough task. Cutting off the above ground part isn't good enough. They will just grow back. These weeds have a long tap root (as long as 2ft-3ft) that must be fully dealt with. Remember they have a 15 week cycle. So about every 4 months the battle begins again.

Chemically Scotts offers suggestions of: fertilizes with 'Weed and Feed', Mow high, and Spray them with Ortho Weed B Gone. Although this might be the easier approach, there are many warning labels how humans and pets should not be in contact with these product. Remember that 'Weed and Feed' fertilizer works by sticking the broad leaf of weeds. This works the best when the lawn/weeds are wet (after a rain, morning dew or even a quick spray with a garden hoes)

Organically the website Plan Tea covers most of the solutions I found in my web searches. Mowing high will make it hard for the weeds to get sunlight. Cutting often will cut off the yellow flower, preventing them from producing seeds and spreading. If you are going to dig them out, use a tool that help remove the entire tap root. You could kill the weed by pour boiling water on it, spray with vinegar, covering the weed with cardboard, or burning it with a weed torch. Applying corn gluten meal (CGM) to your lawn prevents any new seeds from growing.