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'Dealing with the problem earlier': Dandelions making an early appearance in Saskatoon

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If you’ve noticed a lot of dandelion yellow in parks and fields this year, you’re not alone.

While you can tackle the weeds in your yard if you choose, don’t expect much reprieve for city-owned properties.

At Early’s Farm and Garden Centre they’re see an influx of customers with dandelion concerns.

“There are more people dealing with this problem earlier this year than typical, but every year’s different,” Cory Confrey with Early’s told CTV News.

He says keeping a healthy lawn will mean fewer dandelions.

“If you haven’t fertilized your lawn early then you tend to have more dandelions because your lawn doesn’t thicken up as quick and there’s more space for them to creep in,” he says.

At Early’s they have the usual remedies, like the dandelion bar or chemicals, but more people are looking to products that don’t harm the environment, like high iron solutions.

“They use high concentration of iron, that high concentration is toxic to broad leaf plants but not your grass,” he said.

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Saskatoon said it’s been trying to minimize environmental harm in its weed strategy for the last 20 years, when it stopped using herbicides.

“Herbicides have not been used since 2004 to control broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, on park turf and sports fields,” the city said.

“Instead, parks uses established cultural turf practices (e.g., mowing, fertilizing and irrigation where available) to improve the condition of turf areas. Aeration and topdressing are also applied to sports fields. Parks is also exploring innovative park management practices in naturalized parks, such as prescribed fires, to reduce the need for pesticides, fertilizer, and watering.”

One thing is for certain, according to the expert at Early’s — when dandelions are in the white fluffy stage, there are dozens of seeds inside that will inevitably blow around and ultimately mean more dandelions all summer long. 

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