How to Get Rid of Dandelions Permanently
Last updated: 07/15/21
Estimated read time: 3 minutes
While dandelions may be fun to blow on as a child, homeowners across the country know how hard it can be to get rid of those pesky weeds. The experts at Blades of Green discuss a few tips that can help you rid your lawn of these pesky little weeds!
What are Dandelions?
Dandelions (Taraxacum tanaiticum) are flowering plants that are part of the daisy family and are widely distributed throughout the world. They can easily be identified by their bright yellow blooms and rosette of lobed leaves, which only grow from the bottom of the stem. The unbranching stem is hollow and produces a milky sap when damaged. Within days of the initial bloom in early spring, the yellow flower head is replaced by a globular head of downy tufts, each serving as a parachute for the seeds.
Are Dandelions edible?
Yes, dandelions are edible. Used in a variety of dishes, the leaves, stems, flowers, and roots are edible and provide nutrients, such as Calcium, Iron, and Vitamins A and K. If you are planning to eat dandelions picked in your yard or the wild, make sure to avoid any that have been sprayed with fertilizer or other toxic sprays. Thoroughly wash before consumption.
What are Dandelions Good for?
Aside from serving as a food source for both humans and animals, dandelions have several other purposes:
- Attract pollinating insects: Some gardeners intentionally plant dandelions, as the bright color helps to attract pollinators.
- Medicine: The flowers, leaves, and roots have been used for medical purposes in traditional medicine in Europe, North America, and China.
- Dye: The bright yellow flower has been dried and used to produce powders and dyes.
- Natural rubber: The small amounts of latex found in the milky sap of the plant has been used to produce suitable rubber.
How to Kill Dandelions
Anyone who has ever tried to get rid of dandelions knows what a formidable foe they can be. The biggest issue is the taproot, a thick, central root from which all other roots sprout and which is commonly between 6 to 18 inches (though it can grow as deep as 10 feet).
Dig Them Up
The most effective dandelion control method is to eliminate them before they reach maturity. As soon as you spot a dandelion, pull it straight out of the ground, and make sure to get the entire taproot—even a small piece of the root will allow the weed to regrow completely. If you are planning to dig up the entire dandelion plant, we recommend using a weed puller tool and doing it when the soil is moist, best after heavy rain or water.
Use a Bag When Mowing
When these weeds are blooming, it is important to mow and bag any and all clippings to prevent the flowers from going to seed. This can prevent the seeds from spreading and populating your lawn.
Keep Your Lawn Thick
The thicker your lawn is, the harder it will be for the weeds to spread. Setting mower blades at maximum height can allow your grass to smother emerging dandelion seedlings.
In most cases, the standard broadleaf herbicides work best at controlling dandelions, especially if applied during the fall when plants are storing nutrients in roots. You can also use pre-emergent herbicides to prevent the weeds from sprouting.
Add Mulch to Your Flower Beds
To prevent the weed from growing between your flowers, add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to your flower bed. This blocks sunlight from reaching the soil and prevents the weeds from sprouting.
Hire A Professional Lawn Care Company
If dandelions persist, it may be worth reaching out to a professional. Lawn care companies, such as Blades of Green, provide weed control services that eliminate pesky weeds.
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