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Property owners: How do you handle the dandel?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

How do you tame the dreaded dandelion?

Leave 'em be. I think they're purdy.
11
41%
Pull 'em by hand. It builds muscles, son!
5
19%
Some sort of nature-friendly method and/or folk remedy. (please explain)
3
11%
Weed and/or feed. Chemicals, that is.
3
11%
Shit, I'd spread fissile nuclear material on my lawn if they'd let me. They hate our lawns!
1
4%
I share a truce with the dandelions and beat-out my aggressions on my greens-snooping neighbor.
4
15%
 
Total votes : 27

Postby white_rabbit » Tue May 02, 2006 4:14 pm

evansvillehousewife wrote:Anyone know what that crap is called?


Zombie plants. And you can't kill them, because they're already dead.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Tue May 02, 2006 4:29 pm

shelly wrote:I wonder what to do every year, and usually I do nothing for the front yard, it is already a lost cause and is actually slated for complete removal or replacement by mulch and shrubs. In the back yard, I remove them by hand since it has not gotten totally out of control.

See, this is what amazes me. I live on a boulevard, same as all the horticultural brown shirts on my block. Do you think the city gives a wad whether the strip that makes the damn thing a boulevard is weed free? Hell no. So, by comparison, my lawn is a manicured thing of beauty.

And yet, they weed on ... boats against the current ... borne ceaselessly back into the green, unblemished pastures of their youth.

I mean, I've said it before, but Sisyphus has nothing on these guys.
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Postby AmyW » Tue May 02, 2006 5:06 pm

Mister_A_In_Madison wrote:
AmyW wrote:I do have some weeds that are like rhubarb, and I hate them. I'm not a fan of rhubarb, either, but these things are about to take over my backyard. And the roots are really deep. I dig them up, but they keep coming back, like zombie plants.


That sounds like burdock.

The root is used in a number of Asian cuisines I keep meaning to try.


C'mon over. I'll show you where to dig. I even have a nice sharp digger.
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Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Tue May 02, 2006 5:21 pm

AmyW wrote:
Mister_A_In_Madison wrote:
AmyW wrote:I do have some weeds that are like rhubarb, and I hate them. I'm not a fan of rhubarb, either, but these things are about to take over my backyard. And the roots are really deep. I dig them up, but they keep coming back, like zombie plants.


That sounds like burdock.

The root is used in a number of Asian cuisines I keep meaning to try.


C'mon over. I'll show you where to dig. I even have a nice sharp digger.


I will have to pass as I have plenty of my own. I just try to not let them get too big before I dig.

Makes for easy digging, but I then do not have enough for cooking. Supposedly, the taste is reminiscent of artichoke hearts (which, by the way, is related to the thistle family... so that other poster with Canadian Thistles might entertain cooking those as well).
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Re: Property owners: How do you handle the dandel?

Postby WestSideYuppie » Tue May 02, 2006 6:00 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:It's that time of year again. I have nothing against dandelions, other than that harboring them in my yard is, apparently, a crime just shy of treason.

Where do you live? In my 'hood, the green lawns coexist perfectly well with the yellow lawns.

Besides, if I kill the dandelions, all that's left is creeping charlie.
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Postby The Big Cheese » Tue May 02, 2006 9:16 pm

shelly wrote:So, my front yard also has lots of violets and clover, which I would not want to get rid of. I do hate the plantain though, probably different people have different weeds that bug them. Dandelions are okay, plantains are not.


I'm with you on the plantains -- I really can't stand those things. Last year, I pulled them day after day until my fingers were worn down by the clay soil and my shoulder blades were threatening to fuse together.

Even though I agonized a bit over using a chemical, I went ahead and carefully sprinkled a little weed & feed winterizer over my hard-worked lawn in the late fall. I guess that worked wonders, because this year the lawn looks really nice, and the stuff I put down in the fall wasn't strong enough to kill the clover, which I like. And there is other lawn diversity, like buttercups and so on.

Usually in the spring (it's too late now) I put down some weird organic weed & feed made from, I think, corn gluten. Or corn something. You have to be careful when you apply it (just as lilacs begin to bud, I think) and then it works pretty well, especially against dandelions. It's safe to eat; in fact, it's basically like some kind of corn flake that dissolves and for some weird biochemical reason I don't understand, keeps weeds from starting. (It doesn't work on existing weeds, I don't think.) But I forgot to buy this stuff in time this year. They have it at Ace Hardware on Willy.
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Postby YourMom » Tue May 02, 2006 9:24 pm

I'm going to try the corn gluten thing this fall. I guess if you apply it in fall and then again in early spring, it's a good weed inhibitor. I finally found some corn gluten at Johannsen's greenhouse, along with an organic & phosphorous free fertilizer that's pet friendly (pretty key for the little dog we've got.) We'll see how well those work. Beyond those attempts, I'll just let the lawnmower do its thing. I've got bigger battles with those evil sticker plants, nettles and garlic mustard.
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Postby floatingstick » Tue May 02, 2006 10:07 pm

Dandelion punting! I can't believe there's no one else who does this. Eyeball a bloom that's a little bigger and a little higher than its neighbors, rear back, and launch your favorite kicking leg like you're Mike Vanderjagt just on the underside of the flower. See how high you can make it go! See how far you can make it go! Invite the family over! Have contests with your Chemlawn-addled streetmates!

I know they're cute'n'all, but I just can't resist. Especially when they poke up like that, teasing. This is about as violent as I ever get.
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Postby Thusnelda » Tue May 02, 2006 11:36 pm

When my brother and I were younger, pulling up the dandelions was our punishment for fighting. He'd hit the back yard and I'd get the front, with no clearly defined end to the activity. Who needed ChemLawn with personal landscaping service like that?

Yeah, everybody thought we were weird.
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Postby snoqueen » Wed May 03, 2006 12:56 am

Yep, that's burdock all right.

The baby green part is eaten in Italian cooking as "cardoon" (yes, I know it sounds more Irish, but it's not). I never tried it, not being a fan of truly funky plant-part edibles. It is eaten cooked.

The root is eaten cooked in Asian cuisine -- I think Japanese -- and is often included in macrobiotic recipes. It is long and tapered, has the texture of cooked toothpicks, is as bitter as anything I ever put in my mouth, and I would pay good money not to ever eat it again. I cannot imagine how this root obtained classification as a food at all.

The plant makes those little seed heads with the stuckers on the outside that were the inspiration for Velcro (really), which is kind of cool but you don't want your dog anywhere near them if he's shaggy.

Burdock gets HUGE, up to 3-4 feet tall and more when grouped together, so dig'em while they're small. The root reaches clear to China, and I'm pretty sure it's on most noxious-plant lists along with Canada thistle. Still, they aren't poisonous, or even grossly invasive like garlic mustard, they're just big and weedy.
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Postby christopher_robin » Wed May 03, 2006 10:22 am

snoqueen wrote:Yep, that's burdock all right.

The root is eaten cooked in Asian cuisine -- I think Japanese -- and is often included in macrobiotic recipes. It is long and tapered, has the texture of cooked toothpicks, is as bitter as anything I ever put in my mouth, and I would pay good money not to ever eat it again. I cannot imagine how this root obtained classification as a food at all.


Sno! You would like burdock you tried the correct presentation, I think.

It is chiefly used in Japanese cuisine, and often served as an adjunct to fish. So you might have seared monkfish served on a bed of sobe noodles with burdock julienne and/or carrots (I like to make long, thin strips, then create a circle, smaller than the filet so it can rest on top, with the sobe noodles ensconced within the root vegetables).

Usually you are going to serve burdock with a fair amount of soy sauce or mirin, and sesame seeds. It's a textural delight when set against the fish.

The key step is to carefully braise the burdock, which removes the bitterness and softens it. This preparation is called Kinpira Gobo. Here's a recipe:

* 1/2 pound gobo (burdock root)
* 1/4 pound carrot
* 1 tbsp soysauce
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 1/2 tbsp mirin
* 1/2 sake
* 1 tsp sesame seeds
* 2 tsps vegetable oil

Peel the burdock and shred it into very thin strips. Soak the burdock strips in water for a while and drain well. Peel the carrot and cut it into short and thin strips. Put vegetable oil in a frying pan and put it on high heat. Add burdock strips and fry for a couple minutes. Add carrot strips in the pan and fry for a minute. Add all seasonings in the pan and stir well. Turn off the heat.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Wed May 03, 2006 10:36 am

YourMom wrote:I'm going to try the corn gluten thing this fall. I guess if you apply it in fall and then again in early spring, it's a good weed inhibitor.

Hate to break it to ya ... good weed inhibitor it may be, but not against dandelions--at least not according to the bag of it I haven't gotten off my ass to use.

Won't hurt the pooch though. Big ups there. If it gets rid of that damn oxalis or whatever ... great. That shit spreads faster than pubic lice at Daytona spring break.
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Postby small cheese » Wed May 03, 2006 10:55 am

I've read that corn gluten is supposed to work on dandelions, too, but have not tried it myself yet as it's too late for this spring - but I will do it in the fall.

Boron for creeping charlie should be applied soon. It will harm the grass a bit, but it should recover. Google "boron creeping charlie" for application instructions.
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Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Wed May 03, 2006 11:54 am

small cheese wrote:Boron for creeping charlie should be applied soon. It will harm the grass a bit, but it should recover. Google "boron creeping charlie" for application instructions.


Yes, this is the best time for boron (available in borax powder) application, when the flowers are blooming... or in the autumn, just before frost (but not both, as the rest of your lawn will not like that much boron).
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Postby tibor » Wed May 03, 2006 12:09 pm

Everything I've read about applying boron for creeping charlie is that it needs to be done very carefully (a bit too strong and it WILL kill the grass) and that it doesn't go away anytime soon - it takes years.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/info-u/plants/BG522.html

http://www.recipegoldmine.com/gardengar ... arlie.html

http://www.pallensmith.com/

Creeping Charlie is the devil.
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