Weedy but dandy – a spec­tac­u­lar car­pet of yel­low

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Nick Lil­li­tos nlil­li­tos@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.”

Have you ex­pe­ri­enced the dan­de­lion in­va­sion? If so give our news­room a call on 01233 623232 or email ken­tish­expr ess@thek­m­group.co.uk

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1702002

Masses of dan­de­lions on the verges in Ash­ford

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