Weeds, the battle ensues…..
The worst part of warming weather is fighting weed infestations when the only thing anyone wants to do after a long icy winter is plant flowers. I’ve decided that fighting dandelions and chickweed is kind of like the Cold War of gardening. Eh.. maybe it’s more like the War on Terror…. weeds are kind of like yard terrorists.
I’ve got it…
The War on Weeds.
That’s a fitting name.
The War on Weeds is in its third year. I’m ecstatic to report back that I’m getting closer to winning this war.
Last year I shared my all natural weed killer recipe, exactly what I did, and how I cautiously used Weed B Gon.
My yard has been a 2-3 year long battle zone when it comes to annihilating dandelions and chickweed. The first attack was aggressive with spraying Weed B Gon. As you can see the lawn suffered the brunt of the attack and didn’t kill one.single.dandelion! Brand new top soil and seed had to be laid.
This is what happens when Weed B Gone- Kills Weeds, Not Lawns– is sprayed all across the grass.
It’s not a pretty sight, is it?
If dandelions could talk, I’d swear they loved soaking up that nasty stuff! In 2015 they came back worse than ever! I spent several days studying the enemy, learning their dirty tricks and habits, and cross comparing how to naturally kill weeds so I could counter attack without killing off all the grass.
Now, in just one area of the yard, let’s have a look at the bane of my existence!!!
Not to shabby, eh?
And just so you know, I quit counting how many dandelions I dug out of the yard when I arrived at 1,000!
Take a look at the upper right-hand corner in the after photo. Those large brown piles are trunks of bushes put to death by the yard terrorists.
Dandelions really do have an unfathomably high ability to kill off fully mature bushes
You can get an idea of how pretty and full the bushes were before the terrorist dandelions raged war.
A cute moose makes up for the blurry photo. Sorry about that.
This section of the yard will take an entire summer to repair. With a short growing season here in Alaska, fixing the grass, boiling weeds, and other expenses took precedence over quite a few other things… like new deck furniture. Not to mention the yard was a time-consuming job.
Be sure to check the dandelion & chickweed blog post from last year. There may be additional information you might find useful.
Please take at look at this video for more photos.
Share it with your friends and please message me if you have questions that I didn’t answer here.
Directions for how to organically kill dandelions and chickweed:
Boil water in a large stock pot or a tea kettle for more precise application. Hot water softens the ground and makes it easier to work the root of a dandelion out of the ground. Chickweed will shrivel up and brown within a couple of hours.
Add 1-2 cups regular household vinegar like Heinz to the water. Adding it before or after boiling doesn’t seem to make a noticeable difference. Straight vinegar, no H2O, is effective for killing chickweed. Though, I do prefer to use hot water in rocky areas. Since last year, I noticed there is far less chickweed in areas that were repeatedly treated with both liquids. I’m thinking scalding hot water might kill chickweed seeds.
Pour directly on dandelions, allow to cool enough to handle, and gently dig around the base of the weed. Small dandelions with only a few leaves have a shorter root and are much easier to pull out in full sweep. The large ones, like pictured here, are going to be over eight inches or longer. You can bet money that roots will break off. In this instance, one small squirt of Weed B Gon or Round Up applied on the broken root will get the job done. Just be careful and make sure you make root to nozzle contact with the chemical spray.
I do NOT add salt, not even Epsom salt. When I spoke to a friend of mine with a degree in horticulture, who also owned a successful landscaping and lawn maintenance business, about using salt, he confirmed exactly what I knew- Salt will destroy the soil and any healthy vegetation surrounding a weed.
All I can tell you is that vinegar and boiling water does work but you must dig the roots of dandelions out or they will be back next season.