Navigation Links
Organic weed control for dandelions

EAST LANSING, MISpring and summer often find homeowners out in their yards, busily attempting to control the onslaught of dandelions in a quest for green, weed-free lawns. Dandelions, broadleaf perennial plants that have a questionable reputation as lawn wreckers, can make even the most patient gardener reach for chemical weed killers to control the onslaught of the ubiquitous weeds. Now, the answer to an environmentally responsible way to control dandelions could be right on the front lawn.

Responding to criticism that synthetic herbicides can be harmful to the environment, researchers around the world are experimenting with organically derived weed control methods. A team at Michigan State University recently studied the effectiveness of pesticide-free mulched maple and oak leaves on common dandelions in established Kentucky bluegrass comparable to residential lawns.

Previous research indicated that mulched maple leaves resulted in fewer dandelions when incorporated into established turfgrass, but the leaves used in that research may have contained herbicide residues. These findings triggered a subsequent study designed to compare the effects of mulched leaves from herbicide-free maple and oak species on established turfgrass as an organic broadleaf weed control method, according to Alexander R. Kowalewski, lead author of a study published in HortTechnology.

"The objectives of our research were to quantify the effectiveness of four maple and one oak species leaf mulch as an organic broadleaf weed control method in an established Kentucky bluegrass turfgrass stand, then to identify specific maple species that provide effective broadleaf weed control. The final two objectives of this research were to determine the optimum leaf litter particle size and rate per unit area for the most effective broadleaf weed control", Kowalewski explained.

The scientists compared the effects of pesticide-free mulched maple and oak leaves on dandelion populations in an established Kentucky bluegrass lawn in field experiments at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center in East Lansing. The team tested red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (A. saccharinum), sugar maple (A. saccharum), high sugar content sugar maple, and red oak (Quercus rubra) in coarse and fine particle sizes and differing application rates.

Mulch applications were made in fall and data collected beginning in spring on Kentucky bluegrass spring green-up and common dandelion plant counts. The data showed that the high application rate, regardless of tree genus or species, resulted in the highest green-up ratings. Common dandelion plant counts after one and two mulch applications at the high rate showed that up to 80% and 53% reduction was achieved, respectively.

Although the results from the research do not suggest that mulched leaves can be used exclusively as an alternative to herbicides to provide high-end weed control, Kowalewski stated: "If home owners want to incorporate this practice into an annual maintenance program, the findings of this study suggest that an increased spring green-up and a reduction in common dandelion population could be observed."


Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. New microsensor measures volatile organic compounds in water and air on-site
2. Surprise in the organic orchard -- a healthier worm in the apple
3. Study reveals that nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil organic carbon
4. Is it organic or not?
5. Uncharged organic molecule can bind negatively charged ions
6. Dissolved organic matter in the water column may influence coral health
7. Are organic crops as productive as conventional?
8. New organic molecule in space
9. Organic corn: Increasing rotation complexity increases yields
10. UNH receives $380,000 grant to study organic dairy as closed ecosystem
11. JHU chemists devise self-assembling organic wires
Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/23/2017)... , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being ... microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body –and are ... The Microbiome ... the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is to ... Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing ... event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, ... 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions ... various industries. France ... market, with a 30 percent increase in the number of ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its ... 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office ... directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues in device ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes of the ... Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related diseases. , ... pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I had to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today ... of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: