April 19, 2012

The Dandelion War Continues: April 2012



April 2012

     At the time of this posting 1442 dandelion heads will not release their seeds on our property. Their potential spawn will never surface to reproduce future generations.

     Neither will two five-gallon buckets worth of dandelion plants have a potential to produce hundreds, if not thousands, of descendents.

     Our Dandelion War began about four years ago and started  showing results after two years of battling.

     We live in a park on a mountain foothill having a variety of trees, including tall pines and some maples. The community is surrounded by mountain creeks. Streams flow through it. It is often humid and wet—a perfect setting for dandelions to thrive.

     Being so close to the creek and streams we decided it was especially unwise to use environment-damaging chemicals on our property. Actually, were we living in the city that would also be our decision. Thus, we opted for the manual removal of dandelions. To easily achieve this goal my daughter presented my husband, Monte, with a dandelion removal tool.

     This year the warm February and March weather brought very early spring flowers to bloom. The dandelions rose to the occasion.

     Unfortunately, Monte and I were out of town for three and a half weeks. We arrived home exhausted. It was just before Easter when I began our 2012 Dandelion War battles. Monte had some business that kept him from using his dandelion tool, so I headed out each day and strolled over our property, deadheading the plants. Perhaps it wasn’t the best procedure, but I was too exhausted to do more. I just wanted to prevent the blooming dandelion heads from seeding more plants. I wanted to commit dandelion genocide to a limited degree.

     The Dandelion War is never-ending. We will probably find it necessary to continue it since the spawn of these dandelions from our neighbor’s yards continue to invade our property. Blown by the wind, they are joined by seed from more distant lands not participating in our Dandelion War.  

     I began our Dandelion War in our front yard, then proceeded to the smaller side yard to the equally large back yard, and finally to the driveway. I kept count of the dandelion heads I plucked. The results demonstrated which parts of our property need the most work: the front yard, 120; the back yard, 208; the side yard, 60, and the driveway, 548. The numbers are consistent with how we first approached the war: front yard, side yard, back yard, then driveway. It should be noted that the side yard is about half the size of either the back yard or the front yard. 


     For those persons who say dandelions are edible and who cringe at our exterminating their ilk, I might add that throughout our community there is a plentiful source of dietary dandelions.     


     It’s mid-afternoon. Monte is unavailable to participate in our Dandelion War today, so I will behead today’s blossoms in the midst of my other tasks.

     Fighting dandelion battles is not a frivolous activity. While reducing the plant crop I am doing one of my exercises—leg stretching. The battles encourage me to stretch regularly.



Spring…the joy and pathos of the…DANDELION

April Days to Celebrate

THE CORPSE FLOWER (Amorphophallus titanum)—A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING-Is in Bloom

CANDIED VIOLETS: Remembering My Mother on Her Birthday

Battling squirrels at bird feeders I: to fight or join them


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