Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dandelion Whine


As a kid they were great. Hearty, bright, fluffy in their later days. I had no issue with them. My parents did, and this is when I scored my first job digging dandelions out of the yard with a screwdriver. I got paid $.25 per pound, and inevitably we'd never get around to weighing them until the next day when they were all shriveled. Needless to say, didn't get rich from this endeavor.

These days, I didn't think I particularly cared one way or another about dandelions. That is, until they started popping up all over during the recent rains.

I mowed the yard exactly one week ago, and today (even two days ago) you can't even tell. Literally the next day the whole thing was dotted with happy, yellow faces, and by the following (or so it seemed) the fluffy, white puffballs spewing their spawn all over the place. Today I've got more fresh ones, more puffballs, and literally hundreds of spent, spindly stalks looking totally trashy all over the yard. I have no desire to be the "Perfect Lawn" neighbor, but I also don't want to look like the only thing missing from my yard is a rusted car and a sectional couch.

I overexaggerate.

I really don't mind yardwork at all, but I have no desire to mow my yard (it takes 2 hours at least, not including weedeating) multiple times per week, though I know this could keep the problem in check better. The yard didn't get treated at the beginning of the season, and now I've got too many to spot treat. I know I could treat the whole thing now, but I have to keep the dog off of it for a few days, and I don't like the thought of what it does to the environment and our groundwater. I've heard of a few natural cures that sound a little looney (blowtorches and boiling vinegar). I've also heard that there's a corn by-product that can be applied with a spreader that I may look into.

Until then, I should just shut my trap, and enjoy this dandelion-producing Spring weather before it gets so hot that they bake off.

(Photo courtesy Marvin (PA) )

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