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Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale - Caisearrbhán


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale - Caisearrbhán Reply with quote

Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale - Caisearrbhán
by GPI

Thrives in
Most soils with access to sunlight

Flowering season(s)
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November,

Appearance
Arrow Height approx 20 to 60 cm.
Arrow Leaves are green, serrated and laid in flat rosette. The serrations on the leaves point inwards towards the centre of the plant.
Arrow Large yellow single flowers are individually held on smooth flesh coloured stalks.
Arrow The flowers are followed by distinctive puff ball like seedheads known by the common name "dandelion clocks". This is a mass of seeds, brown of tip attached to white hairs.
Arrow When the flower stems or leaves are pulled from the dandelion, they weep white milky sap, a form of latex
Arrow The weed root is strong, fleshy and deep-rooting. This often branches as well.

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Dandelion flower, leaves and seed head, photo / picture / image.

Trouble?
Arrow Can quickly take over a lawn if left to spread.
Arrow Its leaves grow outwards, flattening all the grass around them.
Arrow Seed is spread far and wide by wind.
Arrow One seed head produces approx 150-200 seeds, this means that each weed could easily produces 1000-2000 seeds a year
Arrow Dandelion is a overwintering perennial, what is here this year will be here next year +1.
Arrow New plants grow from the root and root segments left in the soil after hand weeding.

Organic or cultural control.
Arrow If you have just one or two dandelions in your lawn they can be dug out with a deep penetrating weed tool, but beware, you must not leave any of the root behind.
Arrow Ensure your lawn is well fertilised as this promotes strong grass making it difficult for dandelions to become established.
Arrow Do not have any bare exposed areas of soil in your garden, where dandelion seeds can take root, then spread to your lawn.

Other Control.
Arrow To check growth apply a 3 in 1 lawn feed/weed/mosskiller.
Arrow To kill apply selective herbicides containing the active ingredient 2,4-D. This is available in the product Bayer Advanced Lawn Weedkiller, and in the spot treatment product Doff Lawn Spot Weeder.
Arrow Spot treatment can also be carried out using a Glyphosate wax stick.

Notes on selective lawn weedkillers.
Applying a lawn fertilser to your grass approx two weeks before applying selective lawn weedkillers will improve results. Weedkiller application is most effective while the weed is actively growing, between the leafing to flower stage of growth. For best results, apply selective weedkiller to the lawn on a day forecast to be dry. Apply on a calm morning (no drift) once the dew has dried.

With most lawn weedkillers expect to apply two or three applications at 6 week spacings to rid your lawn of the weeds and the regrowths from their seeds. Always read carefully the instructions supplied with the weedkiller, and follow them to the letter especially regarding protective equipment and the care of children and pets.

Nature notes.
Please note that Irishgardeners.com does not advocate the removal of plants, instead, this forum encourages planting and preservation. However, there are occasions where a plant becomes a problem or a weed within the garden for certain people.
Be aware that the dandelion plant is beneficial to lots of insects, providing early pollen and nectar for these seekers. Please at least think about this before you remove the plant from your site.

Any queries or comments on Dandelion control, please post below.

Associated content...
"Dandelion clocks", dandelion seed dispersal demo

Dandelion as a salad and a tonic

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