Weed Profile: Dandelions, “Less is more”

Taraxacum – a large genus of flowering plants commonly found in North America from the family Asteraceae better known as the Dandelion. The rapid spread of Dandelions is due to their asexual reproduction by apomixis (lack of fertilization) therefore the offspring is genetically identical to the parent plant. In North America Dandelions are noxious weeds in many jurisdictions and are commonly referred to as a nuisance in residential lawns.

The purpose of this post is to give the reader helpful insights on eliminating this invasive weed from their golf course, lawn, or other residential property.

20150506_145939 DandelionFlower
  • Timing – This is the million dollar question in homeowners minds, “when do I spray for weeds… especially dandelions” Timing is crucial when spraying for weeds. It is important to be patient. Yes, the weeds come early on in the spring but the are absorbing all of their energy through stored carbohydrates and feeding from the root system of the plant. Spraying for weeds early on is ineffective because the plant is absorbing nothing from floret (tiny flower cluster) at the top of the plant.
  • Less is more – In spraying for weeds throughout the years at Westbrook Country Club we have found that less is more. Meaning a half rate of chemical application is better than a double rate.
  • What to spray – At Westbrook we use three products when mixing for a weed application. 20150507_125947
    1. First, LI 700: LI 700 in its most basic form is a multi-purpose adjuvant derived from soybean oil. In adding this to your tank you will receive a multi-purpose product that aides in chemical application. LI 700 is a penetrant that allows the other chemicals to effectively penetrate the leaves of the plant without causing damage to surrounding plants. LI 700 is a acidification product meaning it regulates the PH of the water usually between four and five allowing better absorption for weak acidic chemicals. LI 700 is also a droplet manager. Meaning it will reduce the number of droplets produced by fine nozzles.
    2. Secondly, Threesome which is your basic three-way mixture of 2, 4-D, MECOPROP-P and DIGAMBA.
    3. Thirdly, we spike the tank with Triclopyr 4. Triclopyr 4 is strictly an industrial turf grade herbicide and must be purchased and applied by a licensed applicator. We spike the tank with Triclopyr 4 because of the control that it offers for broadleaf weeds. If you are a homeowner you can find this product under the names of Weed-B-Gone (purple label) or Brush-B-Gone (Poison Ivy Killer) be extremely careful when mixing this product and follow precise label instruction.
  • Follow the label – We can not stress the importance of making sure homeowners, golf course superintendents, and others that are spraying follow the label and EPA-OSCHA guidelines for proper chemical application and disposal. To view the EPA-OSCHA guidelines click here.
  • Nozzles – At Westbrook due to drifting concerns of what we are spraying we prefer to use Drift Guard Twin Jet nozzles. They allow for adequate coverage yet minuscule drift.

Finally, killing weeds is easy. However, we again cannot stress the importance enough of making sure that labels and safety measures are correctly followed. If you have questions leave us a comment or if you see us out and about on the course feel free to ask!

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