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Getting rid of violets and dandelion
Old 04-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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Getting rid of violets and dandelion

One of the things I want to do now that I'm ERd is spend more time maintaining the lawn. Seems like my lawn is being overtaken by violets and dandelion. (For what it is worth, I live in Maryland). I applied a fertilizer/weed killer a few days ago and it seems to be working on the dandelion, but not the violets. I honestly have very little experience in taking care of lawns. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe "Weed-B-Gone"?? Are violets hard to get rid of? They seem to be compared to dandelion. And also are there any good web sites for someone like me who wants to learn more about taking care of a lawn without spending a lot of time on it?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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I use Weed-B-Gone on individual dandelions, and it does an excellent job. Pick off the yellow head, and any about-to-bloom heads, then spray the hell out of the plant. Best to do it in full sunshine, since the effect takes place during the plant's photosynthesis process.

For general coverage, I've always used Turf Builder Plus 2, applied with a spreader first thing in the morning when there is plenty of dew on the grass (to help it stick). This has also been extremely effective.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
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Violets are extremely difficult to get rid of. So I usually don't bother. For dandelions, I use an old fashioned weed puller from the hardware store. I don't use poison on them because I don't want my dogs exposed to the poison. also, I see little birds eating seeds off the little puff balls, and I don't want to poison them either. There are non-poison ways to get use on them if you care to do that. over the years I've seen many sites on the internet about organic weed killing. A good web search should find some. Here are just a couple How to Get Rid of Wild Violet Weeds Organically & Non Organically - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com Organic Weed Control: How to Kill Weeds Naturally | North Coast Gardening

also, you can use them for food if you don't put poison on them Wild Violet and Dandelion Bath Tea Recipe
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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I'm in Ohio, total lawn is about 15,000 sq ft. My approach is to do enough work on the lawn so it looks okay, but not to go crazy over it. It seems the first 20% of the work gives about 80% of the results of a full-court press, and that's enough for me. I prefer to minimize use of chemicals, but will resort to them when they are needed. That generally means I avoid "broadcast" use of them on the hose-end sprayer, but will spot treat with a pump sprayer.
Violets: I leave them alone. The lawn seems to have fought them to a standstill and I can live with the ones that are still out there. Pretty little blooms this time of year and they stay green with the grass so aren't unsightly from a distance.
Dandelions: Same as braumeister: Pluck off the flowers/seeds and spray the individual weed. Any of the commercial broadleaf weed killers seem to work well. You might have to do this fairly frequently at first: if a plant is still putting out flowers a week after you sprayed, then you missed it. Pluck and spray it unless the leaves are all twisted and it's in its death agony, then just pluck the flowers.
The biggest weed problem I've got is creeping charlie: It is invasive and will crowd out my lawn.

I can keep most weeds at bay by keeping the grass healthy. I don't mow it short and I give it enough fertilizer (when the soil has enough nitrogen the clover also won't get much traction).

By hand-spraying and staying on top of things you can really cut down on chemical use. I need 1- 1.5 oz of the concentrate to tackle my yard by hand-spraying individual weeds. My neighbors with the "Chemlawn" service are probably using 20 times that amount (based on the odor).
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And also are there any good web sites for someone like me who wants to learn more about taking care of a lawn without spending a lot of time on it?
The local agricultural extension office of the USDA (probably run through your state public university) will often have good guidance based on local conditions.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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I once heard: "If you can't beat 'em, eat them!" Violets and dandelions are both edible...great spring tonics. We mow an area for a "fire safety moat," but let the rest be. The past few years, we have been planting milk thistle (considered a weed), because they feed the Monarch butterflies - of which we see fewer and fewer as time passes. And, butterfly bushes and fragrant herbs such as lavender and bee balm help to bring in the other butterflies and bees.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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I think you probably have to spray to get rid of dandelions.

My parents didn't spray, and instead required my brothers and me to each deliver 100 dandelions with roots intact to them before we could start on homework or play on weekends. Despite all the dandelion pulling that went on, there were always plenty there for the next week. (groan)

I don't have dandelions here, for some reason (and no, I don't pull them any more! ). Dollar weed is my nemesis.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post
One of the things I want to do now that I'm ERd is spend more time maintaining the lawn. Seems like my lawn is being overtaken by violets and dandelion. (For what it is worth, I live in Maryland). I applied a fertilizer/weed killer a few days ago and it seems to be working on the dandelion, but not the violets.
Violets are weeds? Undesirables? They grow on lawns?
Interesting.

I have never even seen violets growing other than in a pot on a windowsill.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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In the city, you need to watch out for urban violets.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:04 AM   #10
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I use the Weed-B-Gone product from a tank sprayer targeting the individual weeds and that works for me. I get the concentrate that has to be mixed with water. We don't have the violet issue so I can't speak on how effective it is for that.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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The woodchucks around here seem to be particularly fond of violets. I've seen goldfinches eating dandelion seeds. Neither seem to do much to control them, though.

On the other hand, I think the yard is pretty when the "lawn" is blooming. The brilliant yellow dandelion flowers go very nicely with the violets, bugle-weed and bluettes against the green backdrop. Later on there's the yellow and orange hawkweed and brilliant maiden-pinks to enjoy.

In my rural area, fighting weeds in the lawn is futile; better to give up and enjoy them.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:39 PM   #12
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After a seemiingly unending, LONG winter here in W. Pa, with the "state colors" in full display,( dingy gray, watery brown, dirty white, and black) I CANT WAIT for dandelions and violets!!!!!!

I have a One acre lawn bordered by a field and pond...it is amazing walking in the field how many wild flowers you can find....


Now in the summer I've taken to leaving some of the lawn natural -with millions of yellow and orange hawkweeds and buttercups...when they finish blooming I cut the grass down to lawn again...

Bring on SPRING and all the flowers....dandelions disappear in time anyway so why fight them?!?!?!?

And don't forget the PEEPERS!!!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #13
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In the city, you need to watch out for urban violets.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #14
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Ortho Weed B Gone won't kill off violets, you need to get the Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis weed killer bottle instead. You'll need to do multiple treatments to remove it. I had success removing clover from my lawn using this, but it took multiple applications. You can also try by hand, but that's a lot of work and no guarantee that it won't come back. You'll probably need to do this annually just to keep it under control. Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:04 PM   #15
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FWIW Weed-b-Gone's 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid was a major ingredient in Agent Orange.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:24 PM   #16
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FWIW Weed-b-Gone's 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid was a major ingredient in Agent Orange.
Yes, it was one of two primary active ingredients. And it is not generally identified as being responsible for the health effects attributed to Agent Orange. It is the dioxins that were present in Agent Orange (which were a contaminant, not a deliberate ingredient, and had contaminated the other primary defoliating agent, 2,4,5-T) that are generally associated with the health effects of exposure to the Agent Orange defoliant. 2,4,5-T has also been implicated in some adverse health impacts, but it is the dioxin contaminant (2,3,7,8-T) that appears to be the main culprit. The 2,4-D had little/nothing to do with the health problems associated with Agent Orange. I wouldn't drink the stuff and I use as little as needed to do the job, but it has been well studied and is safe when used right.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #17
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Violets are weeds? Undesirables? They grow on lawns?
Interesting.

I have never even seen violets growing other than in a pot on a windowsill.
They're called wild violets. I've heard that all the weed killers think they're grass, so spraying doesn't kill them. Local garden guy on the T.V. a few years ago said a product called 'Ferti-loam weed-free-zone' would kill them. Bought a couple 16oz. bottles (concentrate) for $20 each, doubled up on the mix concentrate---but it never worked. None of my neighbors who have yards next to me or behind me do any week control, so no matter what I do, seems like neighbors' junk blows over into my yard, and every year I'm starting over.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:33 AM   #18
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Pull them pests at the first sight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Encourage healthy grass with healthy roots. The grass will kill off the dandelions if you feed it and keep it healthy. That is what grass does. Mow on the highest setting and mulch. We do an all organic lawn care which is cheaper, more effective, just as rigorous as using chemicals and better for the environment. We've had one dandelion pop up this year, neighbors have a field full.
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