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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a couple of acres in front of our property treated professionally. We're comfortable with that because our dogs rarely ever are on that lawn, but the dogs are in our fenced back yard and the land beyond that daily, so we don't have it treated. I looked repeatedly online for pet safe weed killer but all I come up with is the vinegar/Dawn mixture. That's not practical for treating a few acres of lawn. Does anyone know of a commercially available pet safe lawn treatment suitable for an entire lawn?
 

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Why do you need to treat it at all?
 

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We don't use chemicals either. Instead, we, my husband mows the hill in our backyard and lays a 100 foot swath around our immediate property. Because we live in the wildfire prone Sierra Nevada foothills in woods of oak, pines, manzanita, the list goes on, weed control mowing is our method of land clearing.
 

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Don,

What weeds are you trying to kill? Annual broad leaf weeds are pretty easy to kill. Perrenial broad leaf weeds are often more difficult to control. Knowing what weeds you want t get rid of is key to choosing the right product.

For annual broad leaf, and some perrenial weeds like dandelion, a broad spectrum product that contains 2,4-D is hard to beat. If you have tougher weeds look for one that also contains dicamba. Once the spray dries exposure to dogs is greatly diminished.

If you are looking to kill large areas of everything glyphosate is hard to beat. Small amounts of glyphosate go a long way in killing weeds. It is easy to put it in a hand sprayer and spray patches of undesirable plants.

Some perrenial weeds are very difficult to control. Canada thistle and hemp dogbane are a couple eith the thistle being the worst and bigger problem for the dogs. Multiflora rose, asian honeysuckle, brambles, etc, are bigger challenges. Smaller weeds are easier to kill than more mature weeds. It is best to kill weeds before they go to seed.

Most herbicides/weed killers have fairly low toxicity to mammals. These products target biochemical pathways mammals don't have. There are also things that can be done to reduce exposure to the dogs. Spray one day and keep dog offs until the next day, or later. UV light from the sun will break down the residual chemicals left on the leaves. Once most herbicides dry on the plant leaf the job is done. So, spray a couple hours before rain. Weeds should be killed and exposure to the dogs is reduced.

I use 2,4-D, dicamba and glyphosate in my dog yard. I keep dogs off the grass/yard while the products are still wet.

Another option is to do things that make the grass more competitive with the weeds. This would incude fertilizing the grass, changing grass species, overseeding with dutch white clover, etc. The links Ed posted can be helpful. Ohioline should have publications on weed management in the lawn, you may want to look at pasture weed management also. And, there is the OSU Licking Co Extension office in Newark.

Tom
 

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2,4-D is hard to beat.
True, but be careful if you have any fruit trees, grape vines, etc. They are very sensitive to 24d, small amounts of drift when spraying can kill them. 24d can also be transported by rising dew for some time after application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don,

What weeds are you trying to kill? Annual broad leaf weeds are pretty easy to kill. Perrenial broad leaf weeds are often more difficult to control. Knowing what weeds you want t get rid of is key to choosing the right product.

For annual broad leaf, and some perrenial weeds like dandelion, a broad spectrum product that contains 2,4-D is hard to beat. If you have tougher weeds look for one that also contains dicamba. Once the spray dries exposure to dogs is greatly diminished.

If you are looking to kill large areas of everything glyphosate is hard to beat. Small amounts of glyphosate go a long way in killing weeds. It is easy to put it in a hand sprayer and spray patches of undesirable plants.

Some perrenial weeds are very difficult to control. Canada thistle and hemp dogbane are a couple eith the thistle being the worst and bigger problem for the dogs. Multiflora rose, asian honeysuckle, brambles, etc, are bigger challenges. Smaller weeds are easier to kill than more mature weeds. It is best to kill weeds before they go to seed.

Most herbicides/weed killers have fairly low toxicity to mammals. These products target biochemical pathways mammals don't have. There are also things that can be done to reduce exposure to the dogs. Spray one day and keep dog offs until the next day, or later. UV light from the sun will break down the residual chemicals left on the leaves. Once most herbicides dry on the plant leaf the job is done. So, spray a couple hours before rain. Weeds should be killed and exposure to the dogs is reduced.

I use 2,4-D, dicamba and glyphosate in my dog yard. I keep dogs off the grass/yard while the products are still wet.

Another option is to do things that make the grass more competitive with the weeds. This would incude fertilizing the grass, changing grass species, overseeding with dutch white clover, etc. The links Ed posted can be helpful. Ohioline should have publications on weed management in the lawn, you may want to look at pasture weed management also. And, there is the OSU Licking Co Extension office in Newark.

Tom
Thanks. Mainly I want to kill dandelions.
 

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Don,

Ed is right, the glyphosate will kill the dandelions and most other plants including grass. Head over to the TSC store and you should be able to get a commercial size bottle of 2,4-D. It will have directions for tank mixing, etc. It should say amine formulation on the front, that formulation is less prone to drift to non-target areas. You definitely don't want to spray 2,4-D near your tomato plants. Now is a good time to spray dandelions, we are getting some rain, they will be growing fast. The 2,4-D acts like a plant hormone and causes the plant to grow too fast. You will see the leaves and flower stems start to twist in weird shapes. In about 7-10 days they should be dying. You can spray again in the fall if you need to, just make sure there is good soil moisture so the weeds are actively growing.

Tom
 

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Thistles! I have been spraying them one at a time but they keep coming. Suggestion please.
 

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Some thistles propogate via their root system. They must be sprayed in the fall using a specific chemical. I unfortunately don't remember which product but the county extension agent should. I had Canada thistle bad when I was in NM and I killed it, but it took some work.
 

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I mow but the 12 acres doesn't get mowed but 3-4 times a year. During that time, the thistles just thank me for hitting them with a mower and assisting in their propagation.
 

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Eric,

12 acres is a good sized patch. Canada thistle is a tough one, very tough. It spreads by underground stems and seeds. Mowing will slightly weaken it but not stop it from spreading. Spraying 2,4-D midsummer helps suppress the thistle. Weekly mowing will also suppress the thistle. Look at grazing and pasture improvement resources for help. You should be able to find a commercial ag company t spray if need. Alabama, I think that is where you, or your local state/county extension service an help too.

This link gives some ideas: Controlling Canada thistle in pastures | Canadian Cattlemen

Goats may be a part of the answer too!

Tom
 

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Thanks Tom. I've about given up on the whole 12 acres. There's a 2 acre area around and just down from the house that I spot-spay. Ride around on the Gator and shoot (spray) the thistles. That keeps the problem down to a dull roar. I can't afford to bring in someone to area spray the whole tract and without fences I can't do livestock though goats would be kinda fun.
 

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Thanks Tom. I've about given up on the whole 12 acres. There's a 2 acre area around and just down from the house that I spot-spay. Ride around on the Gator and shoot (spray) the thistles. That keeps the problem down to a dull roar. I can't afford to bring in someone to area spray the whole tract and without fences I can't do livestock though goats would be kinda fun.
Tom has a good suggestion. The county paid for a couple of my weed suppression forays on 7 acres in NM, and Canada thistle was a major target of that funding. In the west, anyhow, counties generally have a list of targeted weeds and many have support for control of those weeds. NRCS also often has support for weed control. Here in MT, its a state agency, but they will buy your chemicals for you as long as its done before June 1. In other words, there often are programs to support weed suppression and Canada thistle is often one of the targets.
 

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Eric,

You may want to try alternating the glyphosate sprays with 2,4-d. The 2,4-d won't kill the grass. Mow right before the rest of the thistle in the field flowers, this will reduce the seed production.

Tom
 
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