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Dealing With Dandelions - Safe Alternatives To Herbicides


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PDF 3 pages 8 images of dandelions and mechanical weed removal tools by Stephanie Parthie Northwest Coalition For Alternatives To Pesticides / NCAP pesticide.org.

Dealing With Dandelions - Safe Alternatives To Herbicides
The dandelion is one of the most common and recognizable weeds. The official name for the dandelion is Taraxacum officinale,7 which means ?official remedy for disorders?.4 There are many common names for dandelions, including priest?s crown, Irish daisy, monk?s head, telltime, blowball, and lion?s tooth.4 The dandelion is a broadleaf weed, with a deep, fleshy tap root. What looks like a dandelion flower is actually many tiny yellow flowers surrounded by leafy bracts.8 They are produced on stalks 6 to 40 centimeters tall (2.5 to 16 inches) clustered at the base of the plant.7 The common dandelion is a biennial or perennial plant which reproduces by seed.7 The seeds spread with the help of their downy parachutes.8 People often confuse the common dandelion with the false dandelion, Hypochoeris radicata. The false dandelion looks similar to the common dandelion7 and can be controlled with the same methods.

Physical Control
Decide how many dandelions are tolerable in your lawn, then pull them as necessary. Get as much of the root as possible. Pulling or digging is easiest and most effective when the soil is wet.10 Dandelions are most successfully pulled when they are small seedlings, before they have developed tenacious tap roots.12 There are a variety of different pulling tools that make effective dandelion removal easier. See ?Tools for Dandelion Removal,? p. 9, for examples of the many different models available.

References
1. Klass, C. and M.P. Hoffman. 1996. Attracting insect?s natural enemies. Ecogardening factsheet #14. Cornell Univ. Dept. of Horticulture. www.hort.cornell.edu/gardening/fctsheet/ ecogarde.html
2. Harmon, J.P. et al. 2000. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) predation on pea aphids promoted by proximity to dandelions. Oecologia 125: 54-548
3. Hill, S.P. and B. Walsh. 1992. Ecological lawn maintenance. EAP Publication - 68. Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University. www.eap.mcgill.ca/Publications/EAP68.htm.
4. Mattern, V. 1994. Don?t weed ?em eat ?em. Organic Gardening 41(4):70.
5. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. 2001. USDA nutrient database for standard reference. www.nal.usda.gov/fnic. (Query for dandelion greens, raw.)
6. Ody, P. 1993. The complete medicinal herbal. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc., p. 103.
7. Gilkey, H. M. 1967. Handbook of northwestern plants. Corvallis, OR. Oregon State University Bookstores, Inc. p.472.
8. Dalby, R. 1999. The delightful dandelion. American Bee Journal 139: 300-301.
9. Clemson Univ. Cooperative Extension Service. Undated. Clemson Extension garden center: Broadleaf weeds. http://hgic.clemson.edu/ factsheets.
10. Mcdonald, D.K. 1999. Ecologically sound lawn care for the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: Seattle Public Utilities
11. Hummel, N.W. 1990. Lawn care without pesticides. Cornell Cooperative Extension Home and Grounds Fact Sheet, Nov.
12. Olkowski, W., S. Daar, and H. Olkowski. 1991. Common-sense pest control. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press, p. 482.
13. Schultz, W. 1989. The chemical-free lawn. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, p. 127.
14. Forevergreen Chemical Free Weed Control. Undated. Punto. www.chemfree-weedcontrol.com/ products.
15. Personal communication with Wingren?s Landscape Maintenance, Inc. Bolingbrook, IL, Aug. 20, 2001.
16. U.S. EPA. Region 9. 1997. IPM for schools: A How-to manual, Mar. p. 142.
17. Bingaman, B. R., McDade, M.C. and Christians N.E. 2000. 1995 corn gluten meal rate weed control study - year 5. 2000 Iowa Turfgrass Research Report. www.hort.iastate.edu/pages/ news/turfrpt/2000/menu00.html.
18. Morris, C. How to have a dynamite lawn. www.ciscoe.com/lawns/lawnout.pdf
19. TIlman, E.A. et al. 1999. Biological weed control via nutrient competition: Potassium limitation of dandelions. Ecol. Appl. 9:103-111.
20. Metro Regional Services and Oregon Dept. of Environ. Quality. 1998. Natural gardening: A guide to alternatives to pesticides, p.48. www.metro.dst. or.us/metro/rem/garden/pestalt.html.

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