23 Aug 2014
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Love and War with Dandelions

This mom has a love/hate relationship with the weed, er, flower.

Love and War with Dandelions

I have a dried, dandelion flower that I keep to remind me of the dozens of times my boys have been sweet.

It’s nice to imagine them seeing a flower and thinking “Mom,” then picking it for me. It’s like a little whispered, “I love you.”

But the crop of dandelions invading my back yard? Not so nice. I don’t see love in them; I see war.

In the must-have, green-well-manicured-lawn world of suburbia, the yellow flowers scream, “I don’t take care of my lawn.” And likely tick off my neighbors who probably worry the weeds will spread into their perfectly green yards.

It’s embarrassing, even though this spring, dandelions are sprouting up EVERYWHERE. Some parkways are so full of them that blades of grass are scarce. They have overrun parks, fields, medians and just like ours— many yards.

Our problem started two years ago when I got mad and fired our lawn service company for not knowing (after eight years of servicing our yard) what trees and shrubs were on our property. This year we decided to take matters into our own hands.

We consulted a neighbor who is particular about his yard and put down the same weed control and fertilizer that he uses. We’re also paying the boys to dig, pull and spray.

Not as easy a task as we thought. After a few days work, one-and-a-half yard waste bags are full of the weeds with about the same amount of them still in the yard. Then those yellow flowers keep popping up. It’s going to be a battle.

I decided to do a little research. I discovered the little dandelion is a hardy plant. No surprise there. Our spring assault might be futile. We’re best off fighting them in the fall, when they are done seeding and when they will take any weed control we put down into their roots.

And who knew the dandelion has so many uses? Its leaves are used in salads; its petals for wine; its roots for coffee; its nectar and pollen for honey bees; and its medicinal properties to treat infections, even cancer.                             


Interesting, but I think I still prefer a nice, green lawn with the occasional flower waiting to be picked by one of the boys.


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