After a wet, cold start to our spring here in Mid-Michigan, we have certainly had some beautiful weather as of late. It’s wonderful to see the landscape responding to the warm temperature and sunny days. Trees and shrubs are leafing out and blooming, and lawns are greening up and filling out.
Another obvious, and often unwanted, feature of the landscape this time of year is the abundance of dandelions.
Many feel that a pasture full of sunny yellow dandelion flowers is a pretty site. There are also people who view the dandelion as a source of food, as well as an herb with medicinal qualities. However, those of us who love beautiful lawns and healthy turf regard the dandelion as a pesky weed.
Many lawn companies and “turf experts” are advocates of harsh chemical treatments of dandelions during the flowering period of spring in a vain attempt to “kill them off”. We feel this method is ineffective over the long haul but it does nothing to address the dormant dandelion seeds in your lawn which will be next spring’s dandelions crop. Plus it unnecessarily introduces harmful chemicals into your landscape and the environment.
At Reder Landscaping our approach to controlling dandelions (and all weeds, for that matter) is to promote dense healthy turf that will be resistant to weed invasion in the first place. This is why we adhere to the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
IPM is an approach to lawn care that involves the use of environmentally-friendly, common sense methods to maintain a healthy lawn with minimal use of chemical controls. We’ve blogged about IBM in the past, and you can click here to learn more about what it entails and why it’s the best, safest way to a beautiful lawn.
As for dandelions, the important thing to know when controlling them is that every spring each plant produces thousand of seeds from those “puffballs” you see everywhere. All those seeds lay dormant in your lawn until the cool temperatures in the fall allow them to germinate into small flowerless plants. It’s these plants that re-emerge the following spring and flower to perpetuate the life cycle.
This is why we treat for dandelions with our Weed-and-Feed application in the fall. This way, with a minimal amount of chemicals we can eliminate the young dandelion plants before they can flower in the spring by interrupting their life cycle. At the same time this method encourages the existing turf to fill in where the dandelions were, creating a denser lawn that is naturally resistant to all weeds.
Give us a call if you’re interested in getting a beautiful “Reder Lawn” that is healthy, gentle on the environment, as well as safer for your family and pets.