1

There is a lot of advice on the internet about getting rid of dandelions and clover from a lawn: chemical herbicides, manual digging, organic weed remedies. I live in Denver, Colorado, USDA zone 5. I'm curious about the end-state of my strategy:

  1. The lawn is mature and has a mix of grasses, but mostly it's kentucky blue grass.
  2. I don't use any herbicides on the lawn.
  3. I don't try to manually remove the dandelions or clover by digging them out.
  4. I mow the lawn once a week at about 3 inches, the tallest setting on my mower, and mulch the cut grass back onto the lawn (I don't bag it).
  5. I aerate the soil and top-dress with a well-screened compost once a year.
  6. I water using a Rachio, which I love.

I've been managing this way for about 2 years now and am curious what the end state will be?

Aside from getting the periodic side-glance from neighbors who prefer a world without dandelions, what will happen? Will the lawn remain a mix of grasses, clover and dandelions or will one weed become more dominant? Are there any weeds that are so bad that if they appear I should work hard to remove them?

3

Over time,your lawn will become largely a mix of dandelions and clover, because both will out compete the grass for nutrients and water. Since you don't use any chemical treatments, you could harvest the dandelion leaves and use them in salads or in cooking generally, they're a very useful source of healthy greens. Some varieties of clover can be eaten, but 'clover' is a catch all term for several types of clover like plant. To reduce the spread of dandelions, particularly in the surrounding area where you live, snap off the flowers when they appear to prevent seeding; the seeds are windblown and your neighbours will not appreciate having to regularly root out dandelions from their gardens.

  • We were out mining the driveway yesterday for dandelion leaves for making Jiaozi ( dumplings ). And I've seen people pulling dandelion leaves from my verge to takeaway. – Graham Chiu May 17 '18 at 21:37
  • @GrahamChiu - is the verge a good place to take from, how close are passing cars?! – Bamboo May 17 '18 at 21:44
  • It's a low traffic situation, suburban street. I have lichens growing on the nearby trees which suggests that the air quality is quite high. – Graham Chiu May 18 '18 at 0:22
  • What I would really worry about are dogs ... yuck. – Stephie May 18 '18 at 5:06
  • Clover fixes nitrogen, so if you have clover then you should have greener grass than you otherwise would. Mowing doesn't do much to keep it down, but personally I can live with it. – David Liam Clayton May 18 '18 at 20:57

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