Dandelion onslaught tips from Tanglewood Golf Club grounds crew

Six weeks of dandelions tests homeowner patience

BAINBRIDGE TWP., Ohio - For Solon resident, Bill Lamb, a one o'clock tee time at Bainbridge Township's Tanglewood Golf Club was just right for a guilt-free round of golf with his buddies, Monday. Lamb had just spent two days spraying large hardware department-bought weed killer and planting flowers. Still, he wondered how a golf course with 150 acres-plus could do such a good job of killing their dandelions.

"I go to Home Depot and buy Weed-be-Gone, you know, that's basically what I do...kill those dandelions. I should talk to these guys here to see what they use. They don't have any dandelions in the fairway here. I don't know how they do it," asked Lamb.

For Tanglewood Golf Club's superintendent of those solid green fairways, Josh Virant, it's about steady, hard work by his crew of seven this week, and commercial-grade broadleaf weed killer. He is so busy at the golf course during the summer, he gets to his own yard only in the spring.

"I use a regular nitrogen-based fertilizer and I treat for broadleaf weeds in the spring. I usually do two applications, an early one and a late spring one," said Virant. "In the summer I really don't have much time to work on my own yard because I'm out here all day.

Long-time golfer Connie Fitch cautioned against using yellow golf balls for errant shots out to the rough.

"It's difficult when they have the dandelions and they're shooting yellow balls on the golf course, that's what the difficulty is," said Fitch. She's given up on her own yard, opting for a yard service for dandelion-good-riddance.

"We have a spraying service that comes out every six weeks and takes care of our lawn," said Fitch. "The biggest tip is get a lawn service, or, probably go to your nursery if you are going to perform your own lawn service and get something that is going to be worth your money and your time. Pull out the wallet!"

Virant added that he uses a commercial-grade weed killer to treat the course's fairways, greens, tees and rough. But, Virant said, you don't have to have a commercial-sized tractor and sprayer to keep up with weeds.

"Scotts has a pretty good program. Use your regular rye grass and fertilize, that's about it," said Virant. "Just keep on top of it." He also said home yard's grass height after mowing can actually help, or detract, from your hard work.

"If you mow too low, it lets the light in easier and weeds will just grow better. Keep it to 3 inches, around there," said Virant.

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