How to get rid of dandelions – safely – that is the question. There are two exciting new alternatives for gardeners who want a nice-looking lawn without using traditional herbicides. If you have given up traditional lawn weed killers either due to legislation or personal choice, you now have safer, greener options.
Two new products, one biological, the other metallic, are now available and claim to kill dandelions as well as other broad-leaved lawn weeds without harming your grass.
How to get rid of dandelions with Sarritor
Sarritor is composed of a naturally occurring fungus that is touted to devour the big three lawn weeds – dandelion, clover and plantain.
When the lawn weeds are dead (after 5 to 7 days), the fungus disappears without a trace.
Once the granular product is applied, at least 15 minutes of rain or irrigation is needed to activate the fungus, and optimum weed kill occurs between 64 to 75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C). The area should not be mowed for 3 days after application.
For homeowners with average sized lawns, Sarritor now comes in an easy-to-use shaker bottle, which dispenses the correct dose with each application. One dose per dandelion plant is all you need. Each bottle contains enough product to treat about 750 dandelions. Because Sarritor is a live product, look for it in a small refrigerator at your garden or home center.
Sarritor is a biological control product that is completely non-chemical, however, you need to make sure you don’t get any on your desirable garden plants, or into your garden pond.
Get rid of dandelions with iron-based herbicides
Fiesta lawn weed killer is the second all-natural newcomer that promises to selectively kill broadleaved weeds without damaging your lawn. It’s available through lawn care services. The other choice for homeowners in Ontario (and other jurisdictions with pesticide bans), who prefer to do the job themsevles, is Scotts iron-based weed control product ‘EcoSense’ Weed-B-Gon ®.
Iron is the active ingredient – and these products work when broadleaved lawn weeds absorb toxic amounts of iron from the specially formulated chelated iron which it contains.
Weeds turn black or brown and die within 48 hours of application. Iron-based herbicides comes as a water-based liquid concentrate. It has no unpleasant chemical odor and is rain fast within three hours and kills weeds down to the root.
Like Sarritor, iron-based weed killers are considered bio-pesticides, having lower toxicity risk to humans and less impact on the environment than traditional weed control chemicals. However, it is still recommended that you keep pets and children off the lawn until the product has dried.
How to get rid of dandelions – are these products effective?
We still need time to assess the results of these exciting new products. Questions about how product application rates will affect the degree of weed control, and interact with weather conditions, such as heat, cold and excess or lack of rain, should be known as soon as we have more experience with these products.
In the meantime, if you are eager to try these products out, be sure to read and follow the label directions before applying.
Unfortunately, the cost of these new products is significantly higher per square foot than you may be used to paying for lawn weed control. That’s the price we pay for cutting-edge technology.