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Problem with dandelions

 
Aisling Hurley
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Hi everyone

My garden/paddocks are currently over run with dandelions as we've had a dry weather spell and apparantely thats what makes the dandelions so plentiful. Can anyone advise how to get rid of them please. Is there a good product I can use. Picking them out by hand is not an option.

Thank you in advance.
 
Burra Maluca
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Dandelions are awesome!

Here's permies.com view of dandelions.

 
Zach Muller
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Aisling, why does it bother you to have so many? Are they shading out other stuff?

thread on dandelions

thread about organic weed killer
 
Aisling Hurley
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Hi Zach

We have horses and dandelions are considered a danger as there's the possibility of them developing a mould which is extremely toxic to equines. At the moment they are taking over the paddocks, I have never seen them so bad. Having watched your video, I must try them. I'd love to know how to make coffee from them but that doesn't solve the problem for my poor horses though.

Thanks for trying to help.

Aisling
 
chad Christopher
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Misinformation.

http://stablemade.com/horsecare/horsefeeding/dandelion.htm

chickweed, dandelion, dock, ribwort all common 'weeds' are not only fine for horses, but Good.

as far as mold....doesn't happen much outside
 
Kelly Smith
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generally speaking, dandelions are a sign of soil compaction.
by trying to fight the dandelion, you are not going to solve the cause, only the symptom. dandelions will continue to come back unless the root cause is solved.

also, as with most permaculture design questions, "it depends" is how it usually starts.
location matters, soil type matters, resources matter etc. to really get a good answer, we must know more about your context.

 
Aisling Hurley
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I am in Ireland, the midlands, if that's a help?
 
Burra Maluca
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Aisling Hurley wrote:

We have horses and dandelions are considered a danger as there's the possibility of them developing a mould which is extremely toxic to equines.


I'd never heard of that before, but I've been out of the horsey-circuit for years now. I'm not finding anything very conclusive, but after a quick google-session it looks like the worry is stringhalt? And I'm reading stuff about Australia, and drought conditions, and mould, and false dandelion and flatweed. And a lot of theads on forums with nothing definitive about whether the problem includes real dandelions or not, or whether it's just in Australia or not.

My heart wants to tell you not to worry and that dandelions are fine, but my head wants to know a bit more first. I do know that I kept horses in dandelion infested fields for many years in Wales and never once even saw a horse with stringhalt. More research is in order methinks.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau, Aisling, if you really want to get rid of the tasty dandelions you will first need to resolve the soil compaction, you can do this with either a broad fork or a subsoiler on a tractor. Dandelions like compact soils that are depleted of nutrients. One of their tasks in nature is to de-compact the soil, which is why they have long and strong tap roots. Their second role is to add nutrients to the depleted soil through the decomposition of their leaves during winter. Your horses will not suffer from the pasture being full of dandelion, in fact if you watch them, the horses will most likely feast on the leaves of the plants as well as the yellow flowers.

Stringhalt is a condition,
What is it? Stringhalt is a neuromuscular disorder of the hindquarters that can be caused by a pasture weed but can also occur for unknown reasons.
Sometimes called "goose-stepping," this rapid flexion of the hind legs toward the belly with each step is made worse by turning or backing the horse.
Stringhalt can progress to dragging of the hind toes, a bunny-hop type of gait, and even muscle wasting of the hindquarters.
It can affect all breeds of horses at any age and of any gender.

What can be done about it?

Although many cases of Stringhalt have no obvious cause, the horse should be removed from pasture and a thorough search made for the Hypochoeris radicata plant. (Hairy Cat's Ear)
Every case is different, with some horses continuing to progress and others making a complete recovery, which can take as long as 6 to 12 months.
While there is no specific drug to treat Stringhalt, the prescription medication Phenytoin and the B-vitamin Thiamine have been used to assist recovery.

This link will help you distinguish the two apart dandelion vrs hairy cats ear
 
Burra Maluca
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There's an interesting article here on the difference between Classic and Australian Stringhalt - http://www.thehorse.com/articles/13598/classic-and-australian-stringhalt

It looks like it's only the Australian stringhalt that is associated with plants, and only in certain countries under certain conditions.

 
Joan Fassler
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I would suggest a little preventative measure for the future. Keep the flowers mowed down to prevent any further seeding. When it gets wetter seed with buckwheat, and any other green manure good for chocking out weeds. You can salt the existing plants or pour boiling water on them to kill them. Eliminate what you ca when you can,
 
Blake Wheeler
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Count me in the ranks that says don't worry about it. let the dandelions do there thing, your horses will be fine, or plant something that will outcompete the dandelions, problem (if you can even call it that) solved.

I honestly think you're worrying WAY too much about this.
 
Joan Fassler
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If it bothers you, remove it. Find out for sure what it is to put your mind to rest. If it turns out to be dandelion, borrow someone goats to help remove them.
Joan Fassler wrote:I would suggest a little preventative measure for the future. Keep the flowers mowed down to prevent any further seeding. When it gets wetter seed with buckwheat, and any other green manure good for choking out weeds. You can salt the existing plants or pour boiling water on them to kill them. Eliminate what you can, when you can,
 
Thomas warren
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Depending on how much you are talking about this might not help, but I found that looking up all my "weeds" in the garden and finding them to be edible made them less of a problem. I eat them as I tend my "real" crops and all of a sudden there seems to not be very much of them anymore.
 
Tegan Russo
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Are there any plants resembling dandelions that aren't edible? I have dandelions and cat's-ear in my lawn but some of the dandelion-ish things look different from others and I'm concerned about harvesting them for food.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Start with these links
an article about dandelions
http://www.eattheweeds.com/sonchus-sow-thistle-in-a-pigs-eye-2/
an article about sow thistles, similar flowers to dandelions
http://www.eattheweeds.com/sonchus-sow-thistle-in-a-pigs-eye-2/
an article about wild lettuce, leaves look similar to dandies, but grows very tall before it flowers.
http://www.eattheweeds.com/the-lettuce-labyrinth-sorting-out-species-2/
I enjoy consuming dandies!
 
David Goodman
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@Tegan Russo

I've never heard of any plants similar to dandelions with toxic qualities. Most members of that family are safe, though there are a very few that cause contact dermatitis.
 
Jay Grace
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I wish I had a problem with dandelions.
 
Lion Gladden
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Jay Grace wrote:I wish I had a problem with dandelions.


Yup! I'd love to have the same "problem."

I'm thinking salads and dandelion wine.

My pony ate dandelions all the time (our lawn/pasture had PLENTY) and they were never a problem for him.
 
Rich Pasto
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no quick fix. They are a two year plant. They sprout and make a rosette the first year. second year they bloom.

corn glutein meal can be applied to prevent germination in the spring and fall.

a flame weeder will make short work of the seed puffs and flowers.

pull all you can by hand

start planting other plants you want in there. grasses, clover whatever. aerate and gently fertilize that area in the fall with compost.
 
Eric Hughes
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Location: North Carolina
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Rich pastor best answer.
Weeds aren't a problem when they are also food. Eat it ! Or let your horses eat it but I don't blame you if I heard about something that could kill my horses I would do everything I could to prevent it. The corn gluten meal would be a quick environmentally friendly solution but the best would be feeding the soil. Let the Dandys do what they came there to do and speed the process along with a little om(organic matter). 2 inches of compost and plug aerate. You'll be feelin dandy for dandelions in no time!

Eric Daniel Hughes
Student of landscape architecture
 
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