Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dandelion Doings

I'm taking a new approach to the Dandelion problem.

When we first moved in here there were very few Dandelions. But within a year or two they were starting to appear along the driveway, then around the house, then in the garden..... Darn things spread like, well, like Dandelions.

Every Spring I tried to get ahead of them by weeding like mad but it hasn't worked. Full forward assault doesn't work if the enemy outnumbers you 1000 to 1. I couldn't dig them fast enough - by the time I had part of the garden cleared the others had all gone to seed.

I tried a flank attack using that vinegar/soap/salt spray but that was too hard,  too slow, and too expensive.

A rear-guard attack by digging them out later in the season didn't do much good either because they had already spread their seeds far and wide.

So I'm going aerial.

I just spent a couple of hours pulling all the flowers and buds off all the Dandies around the house and garden and up the driveway a piece. Hah. Now they can't go to seed and I'll have all summer to dig out the plants. I know there will be more flowers in a day or two, but I'll fly over again nipping them off too. I tried to get as many buds as I could but the really small ones were too short to grab and I didn't want to pull the whole plant. If you do that the flowers still ripen seeds and you have a big pile of stuff you can't compost. This way, with the flowers pulled off short, no seeds will form.

So if I can't be faster than a Dandelion, or meaner than a Dandelion, or tougher than a Dandelion, maybe I can be smarter than a Dandelion!



  1. Or you could just learn to love them. I have battled poison ivy on our property for thirty years, so I have no problem with dandelions which never harm anybody. And they are a food source for wild bees and wasps.

    1. Don't worry, there are millions more dandelions all around me! All herbicides are outlawed here now so most lawns are solid dandelions and the City cuts their verges, medians, parks etc. so rarely that they are the same.

      I don't hate them, I just don't want them in my garden or my woods. I don't have lawn. Dandelions crowd out native plants.

      I didn't know bees and wasps got anything from dandelions. I've never seen bees or wasps on dandies.... they don't have nectar, or pollen so what are they gathering? Or do they have pollen, I don't even know?

    2. OK, Google came up trumps again as usual. They do have pollen.
      So I guess the bees/wasps are collecting pollen. One cool thing about Dandelions, they set seed without fertilization of the ovules, so all Dandies are clones. No wonder they're all alike.