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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:56 am 
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:roll: Hello, I am new here and need to find a way to kill the weeds in my yard without making the dogs and cats sick or worse. I am afraid that whatever I put out to kill the weeds, the animals may get it on their feet and lick it off. Any ideas?
Thanks,
Delores

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:37 pm 
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It's worse than that, Delores. The pets will track it into your house where there are no microbes to decompose the chemicals and they persist forever. Bad news.

The best defense against weeds is a good offense. Here is my personal three step plan to great turf management. These are not my thoughts but the collected wisdom of hundreds of people with extremely successful experiences in gardening.

1. Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means at least an hour in every zone, all at once. Infrequently means monthly during the cool months and no more than weekly during the hottest part of summer. If your grass looks dry before the month/week is up, water longer next time. Deep watering grows deep, drought resistant roots. Infrequent watering allows the top layer of soil to dry completely which kills off many shallow rooted weeds.

2. Mow at the highest setting on your mower. Most grasses are the most dense when mowed tall. Bermuda, centipede, and bent grasses are the most dense when mowed at the lowest setting on your mower. Dense grass shades out weeds and uses less water when tall. Dense grass feeds the deep roots you're developing in 1 above.

3. Fertilize regularly. I fertilize 4 times per year using organic fertilizer. Which fertilizer you use is much less important than numbers 1 and 2 above.

Notice that I spend zero time thinking about weeds. When you follow these steps, and especially if you are using organic materials and methods, you should have a very few weeds.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:41 pm 
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Delores,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations for realizing that the chemical approach to weed killing can be unhealthy for us all. This topic is one that is covered often in this forum as well as the Lawn Care and the Home Brews forums. Take a little time to read through the posts to see other's experiences.

Following the above three steps will help to provide some weed management, but those results will not be immediate and there will still be some weeds. The amount of weeds that you find acceptable will determine what further steps you will need to take, if any. Hand removal is one, spraying the Vinegar/Orange Oil/Soap solution may be another.

Remember this whole thing is a journey and not a race. If you look for miracle results, you may be dissapointed a drop out. Each step you take will make gradual improvements for you and those you love.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:36 am 
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Good points, Mr Clean. I also forgot to mention the WeedHound for plucking tap rooted weeds like dandelions. The WeedHounds are really out in all the stores this year.

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