“The farmer peered through his square eyeglasses and patiently counted the seeds. There are 8925 seeds to a pound of barley, he concluded. Red clover numbered 71,000 seeds to the pound, and the tiny seeds of timothy figured 298,000 seeds to the pound. Straightening up from this wearisome task, George Washington peered out the window over Mansion House Farm, and across the river to River Farm, and thought about how this information could help improve his plantation.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve had 4-H and FFA students and my own children begin a speech with this paragraph. It seems to bring the Father of Our Nation down to our level when you think of him sitting there counting all those seeds. He was indeed, The First Farmer of the Land. I’ll be telling you more about him in the future.
But Washington inspired me this week when I looked out across our lawn and . . .
There were HUNDREDS of dandelions!! WHAT HAPPENED TO MY PRE-EMERGE???
I wondered, “Just how many seeds are these little boogers going to dump into my grass when they mature?”
So. . . I decided to find out. I picked one seed head that had not opened completely so it would be really full of seeds.
I got out my “cheaters” that magnify about 60 million times, and I. . .COUNTED!!!
Would you believe that this one little dandelion head had 154 seeds? Look at them!! I put them into groups of 10. Not an easy job because I had to hold my breath so they didn’t go blowing all over the place, and they kept sticking together. My curious cat didn’t help either when she jumped on the table.
Now if each dandelion plant makes 6 flowers, that ‘s almost a thousand seeds per plant. I know I have several hundred plants in my yard! What am I gonna’ do?
My first step is to have Joe mow the yard really short. (He won’t let me near his zero-turn mower-that’s HIS toy.) Anyway, I’m hoping that would get rid of many of the currently blooming flowers. Now I have to chop, spray, or ignore the remainder. I choose to ignore! They can just disperse their seeds! I’ll try the pre-emerge again next year, and right now, those little yellow flowers are telling me that is really is spring!! After all they’re kind of cute and it’s fun to blow the seeds away with the grandchildren, and I can tell them how I counted the seeds just like George Washington!!
Keep on a-smiling even if ole George didn’t! Bye now!