We can tell Spring has officially sprung because we’re busy cleaning up dandelions for our customers. Isn’t that just dandy? Well dandelions certainly seem to think so! Dandelions can be a nuisance but they aren’t all bad. The entire plant is edible, they do pull nutrients from deep within the soil and deposit them back onto the top as they wither away. Their long tap root additionally helps alleviate soil compaction. Most folks fondly remember playing with them throughout their childhood, and many of us even made our fair share of dandelion bracelets. Despite the fond childhood memories, most of us don’t want dandelions disrupting our lawns. We’ll be happy to help you get rid of them.
Questions about our treatment plan for dandelions are always high this time of year because there is a misconception that the pre-emergent we put down earlier prevents them. Unfortunately, there is no pre-emergent on the market that can prevent all weeds from growing. Instead, successful weed control means spot treatment as the weeds appear. Once spot treated, the dandelions will grow profusely. Crazy, I know! The treatment’s immediate effect make the plant look like the flower version of the incredible hulk. While the dandelions look like we might have accidentally given them fertilizer instead of weed treatment, they are actually reacting exactly as planned. They are literally growing themselves to death. The most common broadleaf herbicides contain 2,4-D which cause the plants to grow until they are completely depleted of energy. You’ll be able to witness this forced growth and energy usage quite easily as the plant twists and curls. This contortion caused by the herbicide is known as epinastic growth. It will be your confirmation that the herbicides are working.
After the treatment has run its course, the dandelion will be sedentary. This is the time to mow. We always recommend mowing within a week or so after treatments are completed because it helps the weed to quickly decompose. Mowing also reduces the chance of the plant recovering from the spot treatment. By eliminating the leaves, you’ll increase the success rate of the treatment by reducing its ability to create food. Thankfully, this will cause your weed to expend its energy quickly and begin decomposing. If the weed is not mowed within a week or two of treatment, it may attempt to hulk out again to regain some new healthy tissue. It will not immediately disappear though. The pace of decomposition will depend on the temperature as well as other factors, so it will not immediately disappear. This means that there is no need to be alarmed if your dandelions aren’t immediately gone after being treated. Once wilted, it will sit on your lawn until you mow and nature turns it back into soil.
Give us a call if you spot dandelions in your yard and you aren’t interested in reliving the old dandelion bracelet days. As always, we look forward to serving you!