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View Full Version : Relationship between calcium and dandelions


dylan
12-15-2000, 12:10 AM
I'm wondering if anyone has some info on the relationship between calcium levels and dandelion populations. I know that dandelions grow good in soils that are low in calcium, are acidic and also that their deep tap roots bring calcium to the surface.
Appearently, calcium deficiency is common in the east because the rain leaches it out of the topsoil. I was told that calcium should be present in quantities from 45 lbs/ 1000 sq ft to 184 lbs/ 1000 sq ft because it is so important.
Calcium deficiency can be corrected by limestone (which makes soil less acidic) and gypsum (which makes the soil less basic).
There are two main types of limestone - dolomitic and calcitic. Dolomitic contains magnesium as well as calcium. This kind should only be used if the soil test shows that magnesium is needed.
My soil tests show the calcium levels but they don't show the optimum Ca levels for cool season grasses. I am having trouble determining how much to put down to bring Ca levels up the desire amount.
I would like some more info on calcium if anyone is using it to correct soil conditions / fight weeds and I'm wondering If adding calcium will have an effect on the dandelion population (reducing it).

Rodney Anderson
12-16-2000, 08:25 PM
dylan
For as long as I have been doing lawn care I have never heard of such a story. Now, I could be very well wrong. I'm not an expert. But I do Know that dandelions do produce a chemical that prohibits other plants from grower or competing with them. Dandelions do grow well almost any, but in lawns that are high in alkiline I tend to see more weeds growing like sorrels and hawkweed plantians and crabgrass but rarely see dandelion among the growth. If you see a farmers field in which he has limed to grow better crops, you certianly see a good crop of dandelions. My best suggestion is to apply an ester herbicde early in the spring to get a head start and be sure blanket trouble some lawns in the fall. Check with you extention agent.

BRL
12-17-2000, 01:57 AM
Dylan,
I have heard of your crazy story. But I can't remember if I saw it at a web site or maybe read an article about it in one of the trade mags. If I can find it I'll pass it along.

Foster
01-08-2001, 04:10 PM
Seems like I heard that story from a guy trying to sell me on an organic fert program. 'Dandelions grow on ca poor soils and by raising the level of calcium, it deters dandelion growth.' We've got relatively high Ph soils so liming is out of the question. I looked on the back of CLC labs report and they talk abut CEC values and percent base saturation. I just knew I should've taken organic chem! Mabey look into some organic only web site for your answer.

Kent Lawns
01-08-2001, 10:59 PM
A single dandelion can have over 600,000 offspring within 2 seasons. They're going to be prolific without control measures.

Any manipulation of the soil profile so radical as to impede dandelion growth isn't going to be good for the turf.