Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I have never been much of a gardener, and lawn care has always been DH's thing, not mine. As a matter of fact, he has the lawn mower so personalized that I couldn't fire it up if I wanted to. I normally try not to obsess about our yard, but this year I just couldn't ignore the dandelion infestation. Ten minutes after mowing (okay, maybe two hours), a forest of ugly dandelion stalks towers over the grass.
Not wanting to endanger the health of future generations with toxic chemicals, I searched for manual solutions on line. Some people suggested pouring boiling water on the pesky devils, but that would have required 100,000 trips in and out of the house carrying a steaming teakettle, so there was no way I was going for that option. Other people swore by the vinegar cure, but that sounded smelly and would require gallons of vinegar hauled from the grocery store to the car to the yard, and then the disposal of all those plastic vinegar bottles (more toxic chemicals).
I was convinced by the folks in the "rip 'em out by the roots" school of thought, and learned that there was such a thing as a dandelion puller (who knew?). Sunday evening DH and I went over to Lowe's and after considering all the options, I chose a Fiskars Weed Remover. There's a picture of the thing ripping a dandelion out by its roots right on the cardboard wrapper, plus I own several pairs of quality Fiskars sewing shears, so it was an easy choice. DH approved of the heavy-duty blades, but complained a bit about the price (around $30), but I was determined.
This morning I finally had a chance to take the new weed remover for a run, and I love it. I worked for about an hour, completely addicted. Only two caveats: if you don't center the blades over the plant properly the first time, you might have to go back a second or third time to get the roots out. Also, don't believe the picture on the back--the blades should be open when you push it into the ground, not closed. Once you get the hang of it, it is ridiculously easy to use and involves no bending or stooping. You will have to sacrifice some of your topsoil, though. The ground was a little wet this morning, so I think I'll try again when it's a little drier and see if more of the soil stays in the ground.
The pictures above are out of order; on the bottom you see the "before" and truthfully, I didn't take the "before" until I had already pulled a few, so the problem was even worse than it looks. Mr. Fuzz is modeling the "after" (and yes, I know the grass needs to be mowed, but that's beyond my control--I'm the dandelion removal specialist, not a lawn mower mechanic). What a difference! I'm a sweaty, but happy, camper.