Question of the Week: March 3, 2016
“How can I eliminate these big, ugly weeds?”
When you get thistles, clover, dandelions and other rank weeds sprinkled through an otherwise handsome lawn, they can make themselves pretty unpopular in a hurry. When they have this much room to sprout and spread, they can get Texas-sized huge!
If this were my yard in the photo at the top of this page, I would use one of three tools I have for such tasks. If it’s where I need to be down on hands and knees, I use a linoleum knife from the hardware store. They’re inexpensive, and their hooked blades grab around the roots of the weeds and sever them easily. They’re also great at de-weeding cracks between bricks and pavers.
I would also use a “dandelion digger.” It looks like a snake’s tongue, and you merely stab it through the weed’s root. I’ve also seen them sold as asparagus knives in garden shops.
And don’t forget that great, old-fashioned hoe. They’re easily sharpened, and one angled whack through the weed, and you can pop it out, up and into your cart. If you’re really good, you can do it all in one motion.
If this were my lawn, and if I could have gone after these before they got so large, I would have applied a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D), but at this point I wouldn’t want these big, ugly things dying in front of my eyes. I would want these out now!
And then the easiest way to get rid of these is to prevent them in the first place. The pre-emergent weedkiller called Gallery stops germination of their seeds in the first place. Since these sprout in late September and October, you must apply the Gallery granules no later than the first week of September. Apply them then to stop the next generation. Gallery products are available almost exclusively from local independent retail garden centers.