Tips for Dealing with Dandelions
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Dandelions are one plant that you see absolutely everywhere as soon as the weather starts to warm up. They have their uses—as do many plants—like leaves that can be eaten and roots that can be used for tea, but in the end, they are still a weed. With their ability to pop up anywhere and everywhere, these plants can definitely be a nuisance.
Here are some of the most effective tips to deal with dandelions!
Hand pulling is one of the more tedious ways to deal with dandelions but it definitely does the trick if you do it right.
“As with any weed-pulling method, persistence is key. It might take several seasons to fully eradicate dandelions in your yard. Plus, dandelion roots can easily split as you pull them, and any fraction left behind will regenerate the plant.” - The Spruce
Use a garden spade to dig along the taproot of the dandelion to loosen it before you pull it up. Then, once it’s out, make sure to reseed the empty soil with grass seed as to discourage any weed regrowth.
Wait Until After it Rains
As with many weeds, the peskiest part about getting rid of dandelions is their deep roots. If you’re choosing to deal with them by pulling them out, it is optimal that you wait until after it rains.
“Weeding after it rains also increases the likelihood that you will be able to extract the entire weed without breakage - nothing will be left behind!” - Dash Lawn Care Blog
Wet soil makes it a lot easier to pull the dandelion out smoothly. Any roots left behind can lead to regrowth, so pulling them after it rains decreases the chance of that significantly.
A Thick Lawn
A thick lawn doesn’t get rid of dandelions if they’re already there, but it certainly helps to prevent them.
“Mow your lawn at a high setting on your mower, and follow a regular feeding program to achieve a lawn that is thick enough to keep weeds like dandelions from establishing in the first place.” - Scotts
A thick and healthy lawn is well equipped to choke out weeds and take up enough space that it’ll be hard for any weeds like dandelions to establish roots.
Herbicide is a very effective and much less meticulous method to deal with dandelions, but as it is still a chemical you need to be careful.
“It's best to avoid using chemicals when alternative weed protocols exist. However, if your pulling efforts don't eliminate the problem, you might want to use a broadleaf herbicide as a last resort.” - The Spruce
Make sure to research the kind of herbicide you’re using to make sure that it is safe for kids and pets and not damaging to the environment. You also want to make sure that the kind you choose isn’t harmful to any of your wanted plants and your grass.
This can be a more costly method of dealing with dandelions, but it’s definitely safer than herbicide—as it’s a kind of natural herbicide—and easier than hand pulling.
“Simply pouring vinegar over the dandelions changes the acidity in the soil for long enough to kill the weeds. For a faster punch, mix pickling vinegar with boiling water in equal parts for your dandelion killer.” - SF Gate
When using vinegar, it is best to apply it at a time when you won’t be expecting any rain for a couple of days. You don’t want any water diluting the vinegar or causing it to run off into other wanted plants.
Of course, everyone has their own opinions of dandelions. Some people are fine with their yellow blooms covering their lawns and other people want to do everything they can to keep them away from their well cared for lawns. If that’s you, then we hope these tips help you!
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