Weedy but dandy – a spectacular carpet of yellow
AN ARMY of yellow invaders have taken over the area.
Warmer weather following the bitter winter has seen dandelions in their thousands blanket highway verges, parks and residents’ gardens across Ashford and Shepway boroughs.
Botanist Dominic Price, of charity Plantlife, said: “Spring may have come late this year, but the huge numbers of dandelions show it has arrived in force.
“They respond to the sun and it has suddenly become warm enough to trigger them so all the flowers have opened at once, creating amazing seas of yellow on our lawns and verges.”
He said while it was good news for bees because the plant provided a rich source of nectar, it was bad news for gardeners as dandelions like nutrient-rich soil.
“Dandelions are very good at making use of the nutrients in soil so they take all of it first and the other flowers struggle to survive.”
A Kent County Council spokesman said: “There is no policy to specifically target dandelions. It is not our policy to apply herbicides to grass verges on sustainability grounds.
“Only problem weed species such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are targeted in this way.”
Shepway council’s parks manager Chris McCreedy said: “This is occurring throughout the South.
“It is almost certainly the result of longer dry periods that suit these deep rooted plants.
“Grass, which has shallower roots, begins to die back and this reduces the frequency of grass cutting.
“As a result dandelions have the opportunity to complete their cycle of flowering and seeding into the surrounding area.”
A relaxed attitude is also taken by Ashford Borough Council towards dandelions.
An ABC spokesman said: “We don’t have a policy on dandelions. They are cut when the grass is cut.”
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Masses of dandelions on the verges in Ashford