How to get rid of dandelions in my lawn?
Although dandelions are colorful and have useful properties, they can quickly become a problem in your yard. If you do not know this plant or if you want to understand why sometimes it is necessary to get rid of it, keep reading.
What is a dandelion?
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale Weber) is a wild plant that is very common in many parts of Europe, Africa and America. These broadleaf weeds measure between 5 and 40 cm of height according to the type of dandelion.
Despite being considered a weed, this plant has amazing properties… so much so that there are people who cultivate for medicinal and culinary purposes. This is due to the fact that its leaves, which are quite similar to those of arugula, are very rich and contain many nutrients. However, it is recommended that collection for food use or as a natural remedy always be carried out in places far away from traffic and pollution.
You should keep in mind that there are different types of weeds that invade lawns which can be divided into two main categories: narrow-leaved or herbaceous and broad-leaved. Dandelion is a herbaceous weed. Dandelion is very common in the countryside, in meadows and vacant fields. Dandelion flowers are also common on roadsides and sidewalks.
Are dandelions a weed?
The dandelion is a perennial flowering weed capable of thriving in poor soils. This plant is easy to spot thanks to its recognizable yellow flowers that bloom in spring. Adult dandelions turn into light balls of seed fluff that often find their way into nearby green spaces with gusty winds.
The process of planting dandelions makes them spread quickly and difficult to contain in an area. The dandelion is considered an invasive weed species. However, it is so common in almost all grass fields that it is now difficult to imagine one without its presence.
Why have I got so many dandelions in my lawn?
Your garden is probably full of dandelions because they are weeds that grow back from the roots that are below the ground. These types of plants are made up of hundreds of very fine hairs that contain seeds. In the wind, a dandelion plant is capable of spreading many seeds over many meters.
When do dandelions grow in lawns?
The dandelion blooms in the spring season. This variety of plant can grow in full sun or in semi-shade. It tolerates frost and wind and can get used to altitudes of 0 to 2,000 meters.
Should I remove dandelions from my lawn?
As much as children love to pick their flowers and blow dandelion hairs while making a wish, it is recommended to remove this weed if you want a healthy garden. Many people want to get rid of dandelions in their garden for cosmetic reasons. Just as there are some people who find them pleasant, others find them unattractive.
It’s also important to keep in mind that they are invasive so they spread and seed easily, and compete with surrounding plants for nutrients. They may also be capable of transmitting disease. Furthermore, they can cause allergies. The fluffy, flying debris from dandelion flowers is capable of causing seasonal allergies that can be mild or severe.
What are the best ways to get rid of dandelions?
There are different dandelion control methods to prevent and eliminate dandelions in your lawn. Check out the following lawn care tips!
Dandelions usually bloom in the spring and fall season so the ideal time for manual weeding is immediately after the plants bloom. This is because the plant has to invest a lot of energy at this stage and is then weakened by low nutrient stores in the taproots. To do this, make sure the soil is moist, and then remove as much of the taproot as you can. This process may need to be repeated several times before a plant can be completely removed.
This is a quick way to kill dandelions but it requires precision and caution. Rapid burning kills weeds, but is unable to remove the dandelion root, which will eventually grow back.
These methods won't completely eradicate your lawn, but they can be of considerable help. Here are some tips to prevent dandelions and weeds from growing in your yard:
- Leave mowed grass where it is. Don't pick it up after mowing. Grass clippings serve as mulch and are capable of suppressing grass growth.?
- Take care of your lawn. It is advisable not to cut the grass too short. This is because the thick grass helps to drown out unwanted weeds.?
- Regularly assess your lawn. Find areas of your lawn that may be ideal places for weeds, and get down to business. They usually grow in very sunny areas or places where the grass could die. It is also a good idea to re-sow the grass in cleared patches if necessary.?
- Avoid raking in the fall. The leaves can act as mulch and suppress weed growth so don't let the leaves get too thick or choke the lawn. ?
While dandelions can be a nuisance and spoil the aesthetic of a beautiful green lawn, they are not the worst weed to deal with. The broadleaf herbicide should be considered a last resort when all other methods have failed. This is because herbicides can also kill the weeds and plants around dandelions. You should therefore be very careful with your application if you decide to use them. Another recommended practice is to avoid spraying it on windy days.
If you have decided to use a herbicide, you should keep it away from children and pets. Here are the steps to follow for its application:
- Choose a broadleaf herbicide.?
- Put on gardening gloves and add the herbicide in a sprayer, then mix it with the amount of water indicated on the container.?
- Apply the herbicide to the dandelion on a sunny, dry day, and then let it dry.?
- During the following days, you will see how the foliage of the dandelion will turn brown.?
- When you see that it is dead, you must remove the remains and re-seed the area with grass seeds. Make sure to wait at least 3-4 days after applying the herbicide.?
?Bear in mind that herbicides are not a miracle cure, as dandelions often reappear the following season, even after weeds have been treated.
Vinegar is an effective organic and natural weed killer due to its acidic properties. The stronger the vinegar, the more effective it will be. Kitchen vinegar is not strong enough, but you can buy more acidic products or cook it to increase its strength. Still, vinegar is capable of killing other surrounding weeds, so you must be careful when applying it. However, in most cases, vinegar cannot kill the primary root.
Salt is an everyday item that almost everyone has at home that can help you eliminate weeds. You can put the salt directly on the affected area or dissolve the salt and water in diffusers and then spray on the dandelions you want to remove. However, if you are going to use this method, do it in places where you do not want to harvest or plant seeds in the future because salt will make the land infertile.
Pre-emergent for dandelion control
It is possible to apply this type of product to grass or flower beds and its purpose is to prevent the dandelion seeds from germinating. If you use this method of control for dandelions, it is important that you apply it in late winter to be as effective as possible. What the pre-emergent does is prevent the dandelion seeds from germinating. It is only effective when used before the dandelion seeds have germinated.
Issues you may encounter with dandelion removal
- They keep growing back: This may be because you either failed to get rid of the dandelion root or you were unable to get all the dandelions. It may be that your neighbor's lawn or a nearby lawn contains dandelions and the seeds have traveled to your yard.?
- Your lawn is dying: Remember that using herbicides and burning methods to kill dandelions can also cause damage to your lawn. It is advisable to check the labels and carefully follow all application instructions.?