Controlling Dandelions....

Lets face it one of the most annoying weeds ever to face is a Dandelion. They make a liar out of a lawn applicator all the time. They show up out of nowhere, they grow rapidly and are easily shared from house to house. On the customer's end it's the weed that will instantly get your blood boiling and get you to call your lawn care guy to come out and spray your lawn. Yet, there is more to controlling dandelions than one might think.

One key to controlling dandelions is facing the fact nothing will work perfectly and unfortunately not much can stop them from showing up and crashing a perfectly clean lawn. Seriously though, a person should either try and wait to spray until the dandelion infestation is at it's absolute worst, or plan on spraying once and then spot spraying as the dandelions need it from there on out. Most broadleaf weed control herbicides will work well, and are relatively quick acting, but look for ones that have both 2,4 D and Dicamba in them. What we are looking for is often called a "3 way" herbicide meaning there are three active ingredients in the herbicide all of which have a synergistic effect that helps in overall control of the dandelions. We need to the chemical to be picked up by the Dandelion and then translocated throughout the plant in order to ensure a quick and efficient control.

Pre-emergent control of dandelions is much harder to find and is really expensive. I only know of one pre-emergent chemical option available and its cost is the limiting factor in how often it is used. People will tell you there are several chemicals out there that will control Dandelions before they emerge but I ask them to go and look at the label and they will quickly earn not many of them have Dandelions on their label.


In the end the moral of this whole story is that there is no real good way to control Dandelions other than spraying them as they emerge and not allowing them to reproduce or by using an expensive pre-emergent that is very costly. Either way they are hard to control and one of the few weeds that I can honestly say has given me a few gray hairs.



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