Creeping buttercup questions

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by karthik, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. karthik

    karthik Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for a way to remove Creeping Buttercup from a
    lawn. Though there are small patches of grass without any buttercup
    (about 20% of the lawn), the rest of the area is covered with a mix of
    grass and buttercup.

    The ground slopes towards a green-belt with trees (non-coniferous)
    (trees about 6 feet from the edge of the lawn) and a fish bearing
    creek (about 20 feet away from the lawn).

    What are my options for getting rid of the buttercup?

    (a) Is a herbicide the best way of doing this? If yes, are either
    Roundup or triclopyr (Weed-B-Gone?)appropriate for my situation? I
    looked at the descriptions online for half-life of glyphosate and
    triclopyr in soil/water, but don't have enough experience to judge if
    these should be used near a creek and a dense stand of trees.

    (b) Is there any other chemical tratment that is more appropriate?

    (b) Using a herbicide or otherwise, when is a good time to do this in
    Vancouver? Now (December) or in the spring?

    (c) The lawn has not been mowed for 3 months (the grass is about 6
    inches tall). Should it be mowed before applying any herbicide?

    (d) I am guessing that I would have to plant grass once the weeds are
    gone. I would be doing this from seed. When is the right time to start
    a cold-season grass in vancouver?

    (e) Should I pull out the buttercup by hand? (I've tries this - but cannot seem to remove the plant completely - especially the roots). Since I am new to gardening I am not sure if some tool (any particular kind of rake, for instance) would make this easier.

    Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. karthik

    karthik Member

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    Location:
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    Thought I'd post an update ...

    • I attempted pulling out the weeds by hand - didn't help because I couldn't get all the roots out. And all the little bits that I couldn't remove start sprouting.
    • Removed as much of the buttercup as possible by hand and with a lawn rake in March. Added some topsoil and overseeded the lawn. This didn't work either - though the grass covered some bare patches, the buttercup came back with renewed vigour.
    • Used Later's Creeping Buttercup Killer for spot treatment on the buttercup leaves. The active ingredient is MCPA. I applied this once in the beginning of May and it cleared up most of the problem. Since then, I have been removing the buttercup by hand whenever it comes up.
    • Have tried encouraging white clover to grow in the lawn - not sure if this competes with buttercup, but seems less aggressive.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Buttercup is favored by dampness. As with other weedy lawns yours is on a site that is favoring the flowers enough to allow them to grow in the grass. Where conditions are optimal for lawn grasses these dominate.
     
  4. karthik

    karthik Member

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    Location:
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    Unfortunately, my house is essentially the bottom of a valley, with very tall trees to the south/soutwest. So, I get all the rain water runoff, and no afternoon sunlight on the lawn (except in the winter - those trees are deciduous).

    I originally though soil compaction was also an issue - but it turned out that was not as bad as I had assumed.
     

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