June 14, 2011 6:25 pm

Dandy tips for controlling dandelions

Calgary’s dandelion problem has reached epidemic proportions now that the city is no longer regularly spraying green areas with pesticides.

But homeowners have several safe and reliable methods to turn to keep dandelions out of their lawns.

While combination feed and weed products are now banned, there are several chemical spot treatments that are lawn-safe.

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They include products like ‘Killex" and "Weed out", which contain 2-4-D that’s absorbed into the dandelion root.

Brad Hutchings of Greengate Garden Centres says these products should be applied carefully:

"You can use "Killex" on the lawn because it won’t hurt the grass. It can, however, hurt things like trees, flowers and plants with broad leaves".

There are also organic weed control products availble including "Weed B Gone". It’s active ingredient is iron. However it’s more suitable for smaller weeds than ones with larger and longer roots.

And if you decide to dig your dandelions out, experts say it’s important to get the whole root out so it won’t regenerate.

Forget pouring hot water though to get rid of the weeds permanently. Hot water burns the top of the plant, but often does not kill the root.

In the end, the experts say the best way to keep dandelions away is to maintain a healthy lawn that makes it difficult for weeds to take root in the first place:

"You want to make sure you’re watering properly, which hasn’t been a problem this year. You want to mow properly so you want to raise your mowing height to three and a half inches right now make sure you have a good fertilizing program", says Brian Gibson of Green Drop Lawns.

And if getting those dandelions under control is too much work, you can always call in the professionals.

Do you have some tips on how to remove dandelions? Post them below.

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