Spring seems to be a hit and miss affair. Here today; gone tomorrow. Overcast and grim today; taking on color tomorrow.
Green works for me. Yellow is good too, but there is nothing like an infestation of dandelions to set neighbors at odds with one another. Hardly anyone wants to nurture dandelions. Personally, I quite like the sunny yellow flowers, but I value my neighbors and community standards. Living in town just two block from Main Street, I bow to convention and try to maintain a dandelion-free lawn.
This is not to say that my lawn if weed-free. If it weren’t for the green weeds, my grass would be spare indeed. No, I go for green… any green, but the yellow dandelions have to go.
Options include spraying Roundup, digging the offenders out by hand or deadheading the blooms every morning. If I’m in a rush, I may deadhead – a quick and dirty solution for that particular day, but not a long term solution.
As for Roundup, I buy into the research proving that Monsanto’s herbicide alters and destroys soil nutrients and destroys beneficial microbes. Also, Roundup threatens groundwater and run-off. Some studies suggest a link to Parkinson’s, Cancer and infertility. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is scheduled to release new guidelines this year.
If these concerns are not worrisome enough, we are genetically modifying crops to withstand being sprayed with Roundup. The genetically modified crops withstand the chemical, but the weeds wither and die.
As a child, I remember my parents using a yard-long hollow tube. The tube was filled with herbicide. A plunger-like affair was at the end of the tube. If you spotted a dandelion, you pressed the plunger to the offending weed, the plunger would retract, and a small amount of herbicide would surgically jet directly on the weed, not on the surrounding grass.
What ever happened to this application device? Do you suppose that someone at corporate headquarters wondered, “Why limit ourselves surgical applications? Wouldn’t we sell more herbicide if homeowners were required to spray their entire lawn?” Just a thought. The bottom line always follows the money.
And so, I have a dandelion digger. It works. But digging dandelions by hand is labor intensive and is hard on the knees. I find it necessary to look up. Irrigation water cheers me. Blue skies and longer days cheer me. But if spring doesn’t pick up the pace, I may just have to get out the paints and follow my heart.