Mike Stevens: Beauty or Beast?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Depending on your point of view they are either the first sign of spring most of us pay attention to or, and this seems the prevalent view, a disaster of monumental scale. Either way the dandelions are here.

They seem to pop up out of nowhere, yellow dots like yellow measles across a green faced lawn. They close up shop at night returning in all their morning glory to torment dedicated lawn growers. Eventually they turn to fluffy white balls and the seeds from them spread all about to arise next spring and begin the torment anew. The dandelions have a schedule and they are determined to follow it come what may.

What usually comes is a hailstorm of chemicals designed to be a rain of death that will doubtless send any dandelion it touches far away, never to return. Ah, if it were but so simple. Depending on who you are, where you live and how closely you read the directions for application this is wishful thinking.

If you do read the directions you will quickly conclude that NASA launched space shuttles under looser criteria. Wind, temperature, forecast, time of day and year plus the fact that you must stand on your head and chew gum for ten minutes before application all come into play. Oh, you also need a powerful pair of reading glasses for the directions tend to take fine print to new lower limits.

If the temperature holds, there is no rain for 28.5 hours after application, only a light overnight dew and the wind hasn’t blown things away then the chemicals are free to do their work. Or not.

I believe I have done something seriously wrong. My back yard resembles the Yellow Brick Road. Perhaps I didn’t stand on my head long enough.