Spraying for false dandelion (the tall dandelion)

Asked April 6, 2020, 10:26 PM EDT

Although I cannot seem them yet, are they (false dandelion) growing at this time? In other words, if I spray now, will it be effective on them? They were a serious problem in my pastures last year. Is Weedmaster the best product for them, or something else? I'm talking about horse pastures. The horses are off the pasture now and will not go back on for a few weeks after spraying. Thanks.

Clackamas County Oregon

5 Responses

False dandelion or catsear should be visible now. They are perennial plants so the rosettes (base) never really dies out.

Weedmaster or similar products work well. Two cautions. First since the herbicide contains 2,4D, be careful of drift or more damaging volatilization. When temperatures are over 65-70 degrees, 2,4,D can move with even slight air currents to susceptible plants even as far as a mile away.

Second, keep animals off until the plants are completely gone. that may take more than a couple of weeks. While animals may not eat the green plants, often ones that are dead are more desirable because they no longer have objectional tastes or odors.

Thanks for your reply. I"m not sure how to interpret "keep animals off until the plants are completely gone." Are they ever completely gone? Seems like they would be there until ... they decompose? Which takes ... 6 months? year? Would I be better off to mow with a bagger? I've done that before but it takes forever to mow 2 acres with a yard mower. Tractor mowers don't come with bags. Thanks with any help for my dilemma, I know false dandelion is not good for horses.

Mowing doesn't do much to stop false dandelion since they are perennials. And most of the plant will be below the mower blade. After 2-3 weeks, depending upon air temperature, the leaves will curl and shrink. While that is happening, hopefully the grasses will grow and "cover" the dying basal leaves of the plant.

You are correct in that it takes quite a long time for the plant to decompose but giving some time for the risk to be less is advisable. Don't allow the horses to graze close to the ground and that will also lessen the risk.

Thanks again, appreciate your explanation!
A friend suggested I should try rental goats. Sounds environmentally sound. Thoughts? I know, it would likely cost more than another other options ;-)

Goats would work but since the plants are perennials, they would have to make sure the plants are totally defoliated for maybe a year (just guessing). That would exhaust the root system and kill the plant.