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Dandelions explode across Calgary


Dandelions are sprouting up across the city in bunches.

Some despise them.

Others enjoy their bright yellow colour.

And others still don't want to mess with pollinators such as bees.

"Dandelions are survivors, and a lot of it was the very dry fall, and the seeds had a chance to re-establish themselves," said Kath Smyth, horticulturist with the Calgary Horticultural Society.

"The other thing is that it was really, really cold. That gets them just clicking on the right area."

Smyth says dandelions grow in very poor soil but are immensely important to the ecosystem.

"The richer and the better your soil is, the less likely you are to have it in place," she said.

Staff at Spruce It Up Garden Centre say the wet spring has helped factor in the amount of dandelions we've seen.

"A lot of people don't like to have it on your lawn," said owner Meryl Coombs.

"But I think in some of the parks, some of the fields, I think we should leave them. We shouldn't be spraying in some of those areas. They are great pollinators for bees. I think trying to find that happy medium is a good solution."

Coombs says there are several ways to control the weed.

"When you do get them up, I'm not an advocate of spraying the whole lawn either, like you'll see the big booms in the field. I do prefer for your house, just a spot spray," Coombs said.

"There's always the good old dig in and pry it out, which works really quite well. And there's some little fancier ones out in England, where you get to spiral it out and pull it out. So they're all good solutions. But if you get your grass nice and healthy, you're going to have a lot less."

The City of Calgary says dandelions are not considered a noxious weed under the Weed Control Act.

Bylaw officers only issue a warning to property owners if the dandelions are over 15 centimetres in height.

According to the city, one-third of Calgarians see dandelions as a harmless plant that should not be chemically controlled, while another third see dandelions as a weed that should be sprayed with herbicides.

The remaining percentage of citizens are not that concerned about how the weed is controlled.

The city says it has a higher tolerance for the growth of dandelions on boulevards and meridians, but on sports fields, they are controlled as it could cause a potential hazard for users. Top Stories

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