Friday, April 8, 2011

Tips for a Weed-Free Lawn, a Salad Recipe, and Little Greens!

One of our Little Greens viewers, Erika Kerl, wanted to know “Now that spring has sprung...I am wondering what is safe to use on your grass to keep it dandelion and weed free but is also safe for my 10 month old to crawl around on?”

Great question, Erika! Here’s what we were able to dig up:

1. Vinegar: a 5% concentration of vinegar diluted in water is a natural and effective weed killer. Just remember that vinegar is “non-selective” meaning you need to spray the top of the weed directly or it will kill your grass as well. Spray only on the plants you wish to kill.

2. Corn Gluten Meal: A very safe and environmentally friendly way to combat dandelions and other lawn weeds is with corn gluten meal. This natural product will not kill established plants but it will stop germination of new ones. To control dandelions, it is best applied to the lawn about 4 to 6 weeks before weeds germinate. If you think your weeds have already germinated, don’t fret! Weeds sprout at all different times, so you can apply corn gluten meal a few times during the growing season. Corn Gluten Meal also benefits your grass by adding nitrogen to the soil.

Where to buy it? Your local garden center or nursery.

3. Pulling Weeds: This may not be the most fun or quickest option, but it is effective if you pull out the entire tap root. If you don’t get the entire root the dandelion will grow again in the same spot. You can find a small hand tool at your garden center that will help get to the bottom of the tap root. Make a dandelion salad! Dandelion greens are more nutritious than spinach. They are high in Vitamins A and C, and contain high levels of iron, calcium, and potassium. So eat up, and enjoy your dandelion free lawn.

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