War is declared……

Between me and the dandelions that is.
I saw my first dandelion flower today – not in my garden it has to be said, but close enough to cause me serious concern.

dandelion

The first dandelion

The number of dandelions in my garden has been growing every year, despite my every effort to stop them spreading.  So, when I saw they were already flowering I rushed home and got to work.

First I got out a rather fierce-looking tool I bought in B and Q last year….

Weed puller

Weed puller

Spikes for removing weeds

Spikes for removing weeds

It is quite ingenious.  First you stick the spikes in the ground around the weed and push it down into the ground. Then you tread on a bar and lever the spikes back out of the ground.  As they come out they close around the weed supposedly removing it.  It is a good design and works really well for most weeds, but it is not a match for the Scottish dandelion.

Now, as anyone who has tried to dig up a dandelion knows , dandelions have VERY long roots.  They are a very well designed weed and almost impossible to pull up without breaking the root. If you break the root it will just grow again bigger and better than ever! It is possible to pull up a whole dandelion, but the odds are against you. You need to soil to be fairly soft, the root to be fairly straight and you need to tease it out very, very gently.  The joy at actually succeeding is immense, despite all  previous failures.

This is what is more likely to happen……

Dandelion worst case scenario

Dandelion worst case scenario

Dandelion - a bit better

Dandelion – a bit better

Dandelion - the joy of success

Dandelion – the joy of success

The weed puller did a fairly good job, especially in the lawn, but, I have to say, rarely got the whole root out. This was not really the fault of the weed puller, but it was because the dandelion roots were rarely straight, were sometimes multi-rooted and were often longer than the spikes.  Sometimes you pulled up the tool and had missed the dandelion root altogether!

Where there was soil rather than grass I generally found it easier to loosen the ground with  a garden fork and then use this little tool to ease out the root.

weeder

weeder

I think I have at least knocked the dandelions back a bit, but I expect they will be back. There are some that I recognise every year. This one just gets bigger and bigger at the bottom of my rockery path.

This dandelion returns every year.

This dandelion returns every year.

So, fairly soon, the first job of the morning will be dandelion collecting – deheading the yellow flowers into a plastic bag before they have time to go to seed and spread over the whole garden.

If I am not vigilant I could end up with a lawn full of dandelions like the top picture, which is actually a bit of common ground near our local shops.

Wish me luck…..

Next Garden Post: What a difference a ‘fortnight’ makes!

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20 thoughts on “War is declared……

  1. what a task Annette, my dad used to go out with a meat skewer, small knife and salt, he cut the crown off, pushed the skewer down the centre of the root and then poured a bit of salt on, the salt works it’s way down the hole and kills the root, good luck, Frances

      • you are welcome Annette, just some words of warning, be careful how you use salt as it can kill your nice wanted plants too, this is why my Dad and other gardeners used to be so specific with where they used the salt, I’m going back 60 years here to when I was a child and the chemicals had not kicked in yet, when gardeners were organic, Frances

        • I’ll be careful – thanks. You’ve got me wondering what my Dad used to use now. He loved his garden too, but I probably didn’t take enough notice to remember specifics.

  2. I truly wish you luck. We try to keep them out of our yard every year but our neighbors don’t so their dandelions send spores out every year throughout the neighborhood.

    • Thanks for visiting my site – I look forward to having a look at yours too.
      Yes – you can’t do much about neighbours’ weeds – we are not too bad round here thankfully.

  3. Pingback: Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day: March in Aberdeen | My Aberdeen Garden

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