Wipe Out Dastardly Dandelions

There's nothing like America's #1 Least Wanted Weed—the dandelion—to ruin a perfectly good lawn. These weeds often sneak in when you least expect 'em, and before you know it you're bombarded with little yellow flowers. This year, don't let them get you down.

How you treat 'em depends on how many you have:

If you only have a few dandelions in your grass, go ahead and pry them out, roots and all. A screwdriver makes a great weeding tool that'll really help you get down to the root of the problem.

Runaway dandelion problems call for more drastic measures—like a good broadleaf weed killer. Make sure the weed killer you choose is labeled for use on your type of grass, and that you follow the label directions exactly. To make it extra effective, prepare your lawn for the first treatment by wetting it down with my Weed Killer Prep Tonic:

1 cup of liquid dish soap,
1 cup of ammonia, and
4 tbsp. of instant tea granules.

Mix all of these ingredients in your 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, filling the balance of the sprayer jar with warm water. Then spray the turf to the point of run-off.

Problem Solver

Problem: My bluegrass lawn looks great in the summer, but in early spring, I see a lot of gray patches that I think are caused by snow mold. Can this be prevented, or is there a quick cure?

Solution: Don't leave your grass too high in the fall, and rake up the moldy patches as soon as you can in the spring. Given good care and feeding, those spots should fill in nicely by early summer. Because the fungus that causes snow mold becomes inactive in warm weather, there's not much point in treating your lawn with a fungicide. If you ever decide to overseed the damaged areas, look for one of the newer bluegrass varieties, such as 'Park,' that are resistant to snow mold.

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