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Spraying lawn around SFG?

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Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  JustMe on 4/17/2012, 12:05 am

Our SFG is surrounded by lawn and close to our property line. As a whole, the SFG is home to worms, bees, toads. The kids pick dandelions a few times a week, and hubby will spot spray the dandelions each year. Our neighbor has a company that does the all-over spray application for weed/feed a few times each year. I don't know if that is spraying related, but the neighbor's lawn is rather robin-free after a rain. Ours is robin central after a rain with lots and lots of birds.

This spring, hubby's work travel has increased significantly, so he asked that I look into a lawn service 'to take care of the dandelions.' I am pretty sensitive to chemicals, so me doing a spot or all over spray is not an option. We cannot keep up with the hand picking.

Will all-over weed killing spray affect the items growing in the SFG? Will it affect the good critters in the SFG?

We need to take care of the dandelions, but I'd prefer not to affect the SFG and critters.

(If this post needs to be moved to another section, please do so.)


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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  dougneiner on 4/17/2012, 12:19 am

I am also dealing with a massive amount of dandelions, so any help on how to kill them without putting the SFG at risk would be really helpful!

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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/17/2012, 7:34 am

Vinegar has been working for me. I fill up a spray bottle with straight white vinegar and head out to spray down the dandelions and thistles. It will kill all plants you spray it on, so beware and be careful. I get the bottle low and close to the dandelion and give it a good spritz. I follow up a few days later - it is easy to see where you have been because the spot is turning brown. The grass fills back in around it quickly enough so you don't end up with dead spots in your lawn. A way to direct the spray a little is to cut the bottom off a soda bottle, put the nozzle of the sprayer in the neck of the bottle, and use the bottle as a shield - set the cut end of it right on the weed and pull the trigger - the sides of the bottle will keep the spray directed right down where you want it.


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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 8:33 am

The robin central of your yard indicates there is health in your yard, lots of worms and things for the roblins to eat.
Broad spectrum spraying of your yard for broadleaf plants may result in injury to your garden, especially if the wind isn't still on the day of application.
I use a dandelion digger to get the ones I want removed, It is a bit time consuming but it works great, pops the taproot right out. Sounds like a good job for the kids. What a Face

To control when the dandelion you can mow a day or two after the blooms open. This gives the bees time to get what they want from their favorite flower and then will control the seed of the next generation.

I always keep in mind I will never be able to eliminate the dandelions, as my neighbors don't worry about theirs and then the seed comes and settles in my yard as well as theirs.


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  Unmutual on 4/17/2012, 8:56 am


Dandelions are edible, people even make wine out of them.


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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  javaaddict on 4/17/2012, 9:00 am

I use vinegar and salt. I mix them up in a little bottle (repurposed ketchup bottle), and put the solution right at the base of the plant. It kills the plant but nothing else around it.

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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  1airdoc on 4/17/2012, 9:18 am

In a related question, what about eliminating the grass/weeds all around the SFG? In order to make mowing easier and to keep the grass and weeds from getting up high around the edges, the clippings from flying into the garden, and/or the grass and weeds from sowing their seeds in the SFG, I'm trying to establish a grass-free mulched area around my beds. Mel refers to this in his book and you can see photos of Josh's garden for an example.

To get that started, I have placed several layers of cardboard on top of the grass all around the beds and held them in place with flagstones. I ultimate plan to put mulch of some type over this once the grass is under control. It is beginning to work (I took a peek underneath this weekend), but there are still many stray green tufts poking up all along the crack between the cardboard and the beds. These tufts get plenty of sunlight, even though their roots are beneath the cardboard, so I don't think they are going to be eliminated with this technique.

What is the best way to eliminate this strip of grass and the residual tufts? If you have suggestions other than my use of cardboard layers, I'm open to those, too.

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Re: Spraying lawn around SFG?

Post  curio on 4/17/2012, 9:20 am

What is the best way to eliminate this strip of grass and the residual
tufts? If you have suggestions other than my use of cardboard layers,
I'm open to those, too.

You might have to dig the edge of grass up. You could try spraying it with vinegar (might take several applications) using a very directed spray close to the ground.

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