Lawn Weeds - Knowledgebase Question

Plainfield, Il
Question by nirupama_pat
June 30, 2010
I live in Illinois and would like to control Dandelions and Creeping charlie on my lawn. Which product best to use? Where should I get from?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) can be a real pest. Many gardeners have had good luck eradicating the plant by mixing 10 ounces 20-Mule Team Borax in 2-1/2 gallons of water and applying the mixture to their lawn. The boron doesn't affect the grass, but overwhelms the roots of creeping Charlie. Cool weather reduces its effectiveness so apply when the weather is warm. The University of Minnesota and Iowa State University have tested this recipe and report good results.


It does take persistence to combat dandelions. Attack when they are weak, which means weeding with a vengeance during their flowering stage, removing as much of the root as possible. Mow and remove the clippings if they do go to seed to prevent reseeding. A healthy lawn is a deterrent to dandelions because they prefer thin turf. Also, mowing with the blade set high will allow the grass to shade the low-growing weeds and slow the germination of weed seeds,

Other than using harmful herbicides, the only sure fire way to eliminate them from lawns is to hand weed. However, recent research at Michigan State University suggests that leaf mulch may reduce the number of dandelions in your lawn. Researchers applied chopped up leaves (leaf mulch) from a variety of trees such as red, silver, and sugar maple and red oak at different application rates (1 to 3 pounds per square yard) on a Kentucky bluegrass lawn with a high number of dandelions. Applications were in fall and spring. The summer following the applications, researchers found a 53 to 80 percent reduction in the number of dandelions. They also observed that the higher the dosage of leaf mulch, the greener the lawn.

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