May 17, 2018
The City is getting a head start on tackling dandelions to ensure Edmontonians can continue enjoying city parks, sports fields and open spaces throughout the spring.
Dandelions are a part of Edmonton's natural landscape and typically peak in May and June. Earlier this week, the City started applying iron chelate on some of the 1,465 sports fields. Up to 20 fields are being treated each day, and the first round of application will be completed in two to three weeks.
“We heard that Edmontonians want us to address dandelions more aggressively and earlier in the season to ensure our open spaces remain in good condition throughout the spring,” said Travis Kennedy, General Supervisor, Open Space Operations. “We’ve taken significant steps to strengthen our turf maintenance program this year, including the targeted use of iron chelate on sports fields to make them safer and more playable, as well as increased mowing on parkland.”
Iron chelate was piloted in 2017 and is being used again this year because it dries quickly, does not have a strong odour, does not leave chemical residue and poses negligible health and environmental risks. Iron chelate also supports high quality growth of grass.
Fields should be avoided during spraying, but are safe to use when dry, which takes between 30 minutes and three hours after application, depending on weather. Treated weeds turn a dark red-black colour, but are safe to touch. The City will post signs to identify which fields are being sprayed and when.
The City is increasing mowing to reduce dandelions on most parkland by attempting to mow before dandelions go to seed. Mowing cycles happen weekly from now until July 1.