Update: Lincoln Parks and Rec addressing dandelion problem - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Update: Lincoln Parks and Rec addressing dandelion problem

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By: Kayla Bremer
kbremer@klkntv.com

They're showing their yellow tops all over town.  Dandelions cover yards, parks and medians everywhere you look.

Like many others, Marlene Hill works daily to make sure they stay out of her lawn.

"Just taking over basically," Hill said.  "If someone doesn't take care of their yard, then all the seeds blow in other yards and it just really makes it hard to try and keep up."

Dandelions are growing right on schedule but the amount is noticeably more than usual.  That's because of the extreme drought conditions last summer that killed grass in yards and parks, which made a perfect environment this spring for weeds to thrive.

"If you just try and pull them and you leave that root system, just like mowing them off, they're going to come right on back so it's better to get a good control with a chemical on it and make sure you get a good kill all the way down to that root system," Andrew Campbell, of Campbell's Nursery said.

If you have a dandelion problem, lawn experts say you can apply a "weed and feed" type step to your entire yard.  It uses a chemical called 2, 4–d, that works to kill the dandelions and other weeds down to the root.  Otherwise if you just have one here and there, an in store weed killer will do the trick.

"I usually get out and dig them up and then I spray the weed stuff in the hole and that usually keeps them down pretty good," Hill said.

Lawn experts say if you have a heavy amount of dandelions in your yard, the seed is already spreading.  To get a head start on the problem for next spring, keep your eye on the growth in your yard this fall and begin spot treatment to avoid another infestation next year.

Posted By:  KLKN Newsroom
8@klkntv.com

Lincoln - The City Parks and Recreation Department's maintenance staff will continue to monitor and address park areas that have been infested with dandelions as a result of 2012 drought conditions.

Because of the dry conditions, grass has died or is sparse in some park areas, allowing weeds like dandelions to thrive.

Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Shorney said weed control herbicide is typically applied in the fall rather than spring to reduce the potential for damaging landscape growth and garden areas on neighboring properties.  Herbicide applications were ineffective last fall due to dry conditions.  Weeds must be actively growing to allow herbicide to be effective. 

Shorney said staff will work to control dandelions either chemically or manually where possible.  He said the best way to reestablish the turf areas is to over-seed grass on non-irrigated parkland in late summer and apply herbicides in the early fall if weather conditions are suitable. 

"Parks and Recreation staff appreciate the patience and understanding of community residents as park areas recover over the next few years from the extreme drought conditions," said Shorney. 

More information on Lincoln Parks and Recreation can be found at parks.lincoln.ne.gov. 

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