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revised January 04, 2008

Least-Toxic Control of Weeds

Least toxic control of crabgrass

Appearance & effect

Crabgrass
CRABGRASS


Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1997. Reproduced with permission

Crabgrass reproduces mainly by seeds, but also by long, rooting stalks. You'll find crabgrass in warm, moist lawns where the grass is thin or mowed too short.

Crabgrass tolerates hot, dry, compacted soil. It often spreads out forcefully over the lawn to obstruct the growth of other desirable grasses.

Controlling crabgrass

You can prevent crabgrass from becoming a problem by maintaining a healthy lawn and avoiding frequent watering, spring cultivation and summer fertilization. Crabgrass can also be hand-pulled.

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Least toxic control of dandelions

Appearance & effect

Dandelion
DANDELION


Source: available for free at the Garden Helper

The dandelion is an annual or biannual broadleaf plant with a deep, fleshy taproot. It reproduces by seed.

Controlling dandelions

Your best defence against dandelions is a healthy lawn.

Dandelions can be pulled, but you must remove as much of the root as possible or the plant will grow back. They are most successfully pulled when they are small seedlings, before they have developed a firm taproot.

Vinegar kills dandelions and grass. If you use vinegar to eliminate dandelions, be careful of the surrounding grass.

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Least toxic control of plantains

Common Plantains
COMMON PLANTAINS


Source: ACES

Plantain is a perennial broadleaf weed that reproduces by seed. You can control plantains by hand-pulling the roots.

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Least toxic control of black medic

Appearance & effect

Dandelion
BLACK MEDIC


Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1997. Reproduced with permission

Black medic is sometimes called “yellow clover”.  It is a sign of low nitrogen in the soil.  It can be removed by hand pulling.

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